Stoneham and Portchester will have to do it all again on Tuesday night following this dour goal-less FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie on Saturday.

There was plenty of tension but little in the way of excitement as the Eastleigh-based hosts played their first ever game in the world’s most famous cup competition.

Both sides struggled to get any flowing play or momentum going during the 90 minutes, as the conditions made it difficult to try and get the ball down and play, and both goalkeepers had very little to do throughout the match.

Portchester looked the more likely to fashion a goalscoring chance until the final 15 minutes of the game where the home side put the visitors under more pressure and went close to snatching a cup upset at the death.

There were no chances at all in the opening quarter of the match as play from both sides tended to be on the scrappy side.

Steve Ramsey had a shot deflected wide and at the other end, Tom Price was forced to punch a cross away when it suddenly dipped on him as it came across the six yard box.

On 25 minutes the visitors went close to breaking the deadlock when a charged down corner from the left was crossed back towards the far post and Harry Birmingham’s header dropped just wide of the goal.

Dale Mason then latched on to a long through ball down the right but home keeper Scott Williams just beat him to the ball to clear the danger.

Portchester went closer still on 37 minutes when a corner was headed up into the air by the home defence inside their own six yard box and when it dropped to the ground Simon Stone tried to nudge the ball over the line but Williams was there to deal with this effort.

The visitors’ best chance of the game came five minutes before half time when Jack Breed broke clear down the left and drove into the penalty area. The combination of a defender and the keeper blocked his attempted shot but it ran across the penalty area to Mason whose low shot had to be hacked off the line.

Three minutes later Mason latched on to another long through ball and this time beat Williams to the ball but his attempt to lift his shot over the keeper saw his effort sail over the crossbar too.

The second half was even more scrappy than the first, with the home side coming more into the game as the tension around the ground increased as the clock ticked down.

Portchester went close again on 66 minutes when a ball crossed into the box from the left found Mike Turvey at the far post, who controlled it before turning a pass back into the path of Simon Woods but his rising shot went over the target.

Stoneham went close on 73 minutes when a long punt forward found substitute Charlie Rattley running into the box and his flicked header on saw the ball go just wide of the post.

With ten minutes remaining the visitors threatened to open up the home defence after substitute Brandon Miller found some space and pulled the ball back inside to Ramsey but his shot from distance went straight at the keeper.

Stoneham almost broke the deadlock on 83 minutes when a quick passing move saw Sergio Caballero race clear of the visiting defence. Price raced off his line to do enough to put the striker off his shot and deflect the ball from his path but it rolled on towards the far post and Jack Brady had his effort blocked as he tried to guide the ball into the unguarded net.

Portchester hearts were in their mouths in the final minute when substitute Josh Clark managed to beat his marker down the right and he tried to cut inside the penalty area. The two players were grappling with each other to try and get to the ball and as the home player looked to have got clear of the defender he went tumbling down but the referee was unmoved and play went on rather than a penalty being awarded.

AFC Portchester and AFC Stoneham will play their Extra Preliminary Round replay this Tuesday evening at the Crest Finance Stadium, kick-off 7.45pm.

The winners will be at home to Westfield in the next round.

AFC Portchester
The Crest Finance Stadium
Wicor Recreation Ground
Cranleigh Road
Fareham
Hants
PO16 9DP
U.K.

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