AFC Portchester closed out 2018 with a defeat in this Wessex Premier Division encounter on Saturday.
The match proved to be almost as dour as the December sky above the Crest Finance Stadium - grey, dull and featureless. Certainly not 90 minutes that will live long in the memory.
Alresford enjoyed a relatively comfortable afternoon up until the last quarter of the game, when the home side looked to battle back and secure an unlikely point.
The visitors had the better of the possession for most of the game as the home side struggled to get their game going. However, there were very few opportunities on goal created by either side throughout the match.
Portchester had the first half chance on four minutes following a corner on the left. When the ball dropped inside the box Matt Simm tried to back heel it towards goal and Liam Kimber then tried to turn the re-bound over the line but it was cleared for another corner.
Alresford took the lead on 14 minutes when the home defence failed to keep track of a ball played straight down the middle of the pitch.
Scott Munro latched on to it on the edge of the area and his first touch took it past keeper Charlie Searle before he riffled his shot into the roof of the net.
The visitors should have doubled their lead when a corner from the right found Adam Pearson unmarked on the edge of the six yard box but he put his header well over the crossbar.
At the other end Steve Ramsey’s bobbling low shot was easily saved and on the half hour mark Simm hit a rising shot which had to be acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by keeper Jordan Tewkesbury.
Alresford started the second half quickly and George Farrelly got clear of the home defence before hitting a curling shot which beat Charlie Searle but dropped wide of the goal.
Another ball into the box was not cleared by Portchester and Sam Burt ran on to the loose ball and fizzed a shot towards goal which fortunately for the Royals was deflected around the post.
Portchester didn’t heed those warnings though as Alresford eventually doubled their lead on 54 minutes. They worked the ball into the penalty area and after an exchange of quick passes, Farrelly tucked the ball home from close range.
Alresford went close to scoring again 12 minutes later when Paul Coventry picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and his chipped shot hit the crossbar. Munro got to the re-bound first but blasted his follow up effort over the top.
After a series of substitutions were made to freshen up the home side they were given a lifeline to get back into the game on 77 minutes.
Portchester managed to get forward down the right and when a low cross was driven in towards the near post the ball hit Pearson’s legs and he could only watch as it flew into his own net.
The home side pushed forward in the closing stages in search of an unlikely equaliser and the closest they came to snatching one was in the 90th minute.
A throw-in on the left was initially defended but Adam Cripps crossed the ball on to the head of Mike Turvey but he diverted the ball straight into the hands of Tewkesbury.