Wessex Premier League | 4 November 2017 | Hamble Community Facility | Scorer(s): Bye
A stunning late striker from skipper Joe Bye was enough to earn his side a valuable 0-1 win away at Hamble FC.
The home side flew out of the blocks and looked to test Scott in the royal’s goal in the second minute. However, striker Doug Rowe could only fire high and wide after he made some space for himself in the 18-yard box.
In the tenth minute Scott was called upon for the first time, and the Portchester keeper made a very accomplished save to deny Ben Kemplen from scoring a brilliant individual goal. Diving low to his right to push the ball away.
Scott was proving to be a real burden to the Hamble attack, as once again he prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity with a fine save. This time the keeper used his big frame to deny Lowe who looked certain to open the scoring for Hamble.
Portchesters first clear chance came in the 15th minute when a trademark Baldaccino turn opened space up for the striker, but his low shot was well saved by Rory Anderson in the Hamble goal.
In the 20th minute, the royals almost took the lead via an unusual source. Big defender Harry Birmingham leaping highest from a corner, only to see his powerful header smash off the bar.
Tricky Reece Tuppen looked a constant threat on the break for Portchester and his cross on the 28th minute looked destined for a goal, but somehow not one of his teammates could convert.
As the game progressed Lowe looked to be the main goal-threat in the Hamble team. And the striker broke through one on one with Scott in the 33rd minute, but again the keeper got in the way.
The 35th minute saw the clearest chance a player could possibly have, as pacey Hamble winger Mo Nyang rounded the keeper to be faced with the task of rolling the ball into an empty net. But the wide-man must have already been planning his celebration as he somehow managed to poke the ball wide of the post.
Half Time: Hamble FC 0-0 AFC Portchester
The royals looked to start the second half in the ascendancy and had a good chance to go ahead in the 50th minute. Rob Evans used his blistering pace to burst down the left and cut the ball back, but Andy Todd failed to capitalise.
At halftime Steve Ramsey came on to fill his usual central midfield birth, and he almost made a very desirable impact in the 60th minute. Although unfortunately for him, his bullet-like drive from 25 yards smacked off the post and back into play.
Matt Page was making his debut for the Royals after signing from Lymington earlier in the week, and the 6 ft 4 giant showed his utility as he began the game in central midfield and reverted into centre half for the second period.
Page showed his capabilities as a centre half in the 63rd minute when he made a last ditch interception to deny Nyang a tap in for Hamble.
After having a fairly quiet game, Todd had a great chance in the 73rd minute to open the scoring for Portchester, but his downwards header was straight at the keeper.
Top scorer Bobby Scott was a useful weapon to bring off the bench for Ian Saunders, and he almost made an immediate impact in the 78th minute; only to see his low shot from the angle well saved by Anderson.
As the game grew old, it always looked like one goal was going to be enough to take all three points. Step up Joe Bye in the 86th minute; the skipper may have never hit a sweeter strike in his life. As the ball rolled back to him, he got into position to release an unbelievable first time striker from 25 yards that flew in off the left hand post. 0-1.
The Royals dug in and defended their lead to claim a vital three points.
Full Time: Hamble FC 0-1 AFC Portchester
Lymington: Anderson, Shrimpton, Troon, Wilson, Byrne, McLean, Nyang, Crook, Rowe, Kemplen, Fee
Subs: McCarthy, Wilson, Magookin, Bull, Blake
Royals: C. Scott, Hudson, Wells, Page, Birmingham, Moody, Evans, Bye, Baldacchino, Todd, Tuppen
Subs: Warren, Ramsey, Hoolihan, B. Scott
Report by Hugo Butler