Sydenhams League Cup | 13 March 2018 | Gang Warily | Scorer(s): Wooden
Lewis Noice saved three penalties in a dramatic shootout as Portchester reached the Wessex League Cup Final on Tuesday, beating Blackfield and Langley after the sides could not be separated in regular time.
The game started at a fast pace, and Portchester nearly opened the scoring after just two minutes when striker Dan Wooden received the ball after a goal-mouth scramble. Only to see his stabbed shot cleared off the line.
Blackfield had their own chance to take the lead in the cup-tie in the seventh minute, but striker Clarke’s finish at the far post was ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
Jack Breed was the next man to go close after Jake Morgan found him around 10 yards out with a neat lay-off, however Snelling in the Blackfield goal saved excellently with his feet.
The ever-dangerous Griffith could not have come much closer for Blackfield in the 40th when he cut in on his stronger right foot and struck the near post.
They say that the best time to score is before half-time and the Royals did exactly that, and what a great goal it was.
After winning a free-kick around 25 yards out, it was the right foot of Ramsey and the left foot of Wooden who stood over Portchester free-kick. It was the latter who took the kick and dispatched it expertly round the wall to give Ian Saunders side a valuable lead going into the break. 0-1.
Half Time: Blackfield and Langley 0-1 AFC Portchester
The second half started exactly how Portchester would not have wanted, with a Blackfield equaliser. In the 48th minute Clarke slotted home after a good move, to bring his side level in the tie. 1-1.
The game was played at a real high standard with both teams trying to keep the ball and play football. An example of this was some delightful link up play between substitute Liam Bush and Nathan Kirby who in turn played Steve Ramsey through on goal, however the midfielder fired well wide.
Both teams had chances to win the game in the latter stages. Firstly, a fine cross found Sam Poole in the Portchester area and his header went close, followed by another outstanding save by Snelling to deny a looping Kirby header.
The two sides could not be separated however, and the game finished 1-1 after regulation time, meaning a penalty shout-out would decide who was to progress to the final.
Rob Evans, Jake Morgan and Steve Ramsey all converted their spot kicks and thanks to heroics from their goalkeeper Noice, the Royals won the shootout 3-2 and progress through to the League Cup Final!
Full Time: Blackfield and Langley 1 - 1 AFC Portchester (Pens 2-3)
THE LINE UPS:
Royals: Noice, Stone, Buckland, Ramsey, Searle, Birmingham, Evans, Morgan, Kirby, Wooden, Breed
Subs: Bush, Mason
Blackfield and Langley: Bryan, Byrne, Clarke, Doe, Griffin, McAllister, Oatley, Poole, Robinson, Snelling, Stewart
Report by Hugo Butler