AFC Portchester booked their place in the semi finals of the Portsmouth Senior Cup with a comfortable victory over Hampshire Premier League side Hayling United on Tuesday night.
The match was played in bitterly cold conditions and to their credit, the home side kept to their task of pushing the Wessex Premier Division visitors right to the end of the match.
Their chances of causing a cup upset seemed to evaporate after only seven minutes of the game when they were reduced to ten men.
Cameron Smith was shown a straight red card following a challenge on Charlie Cooper in the centre of the pitch which the referee deemed to be dangerous.
After this early drama Portchester used their numerical advantage to stay on top of their hosts throughout the match, although they struggled to find their shooting boots and spurned plenty of chances to score throughout the 90 minutes.
The home side had already survived an early scare before the sending off when Portchester were awarded a penalty when Joel Jackson’s shot rolled up the arm of a defender. Jack Breed fired his spot kick low to keeper Will Ford’s right but he blocked it with his body.
Cooper then went close when he ran on to Jackson’s pass across the edge of the box but his shot went over.
Portchester took the lead after 25 minutes when a corner from the left was cleared as far as Stuart McComachie 25 yards out and his shot caught Ford off his line and it dropped behind him into the net.
It should have been 2-0 four minutes later when Efu Kezadi raced clear only for Ford to block his shot and before McComachie could fire off the rebound, the home keeper hacked the ball away to safety.
Hayling managed to put together some mini spells of pressure at certain points of the match and one of those came shortly before half time.
Matt Low found space inside the box to shoot but his effort didn’t have the power to trouble keeper Lewis Watch and in their next attack, a through ball just ran away from the same player after he burst clear of the visiting defence.
Hayling had an early half chance to equalise in the second half when Josh Watts picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area but he fired his shot over.
At the other end Kezadi got on the end of Adam Cripps’ through ball but pulled his shot across the face of goal and Jake Morgan then took the ball around a Hayling player before firing off a shot which Ford had to palm away for a corner.
Harry Birmingham had two chances to score from the corner - the first saw his header blocked on the line and Ford held on to his effort from the rebound when he hooked a shot over his shoulder.
On 67 minutes Kezadi had another one-on-one opportunity against Ford when he raced clear of the home defence but he shot straight at the keeper and the follow up effort rolled wide of the target.
Portchester eventually doubled their lead four minutes later when a long throw in from the left dropped inside the six yard box and Brandon Miller was in the right place to prod the ball home at the second attempt.
Substitute Reece Tuppen was then sent racing clear into the penalty area but he could only fire his shot straight at Ford, and he had a similar chance when substitute Olakorede Salami played him in but this time Ford turned his shot around the post.
In the final minute Portchester went close again when Salami crossed the ball into the box from the left and Cooper flashed his header just wide of the target.