AFC Portchester enjoyed a share of the spoils from this league game on Monday evening thanks to a bizarre goalkeeping performance.
 
The Royals looked dead and buried at half time when they trailed 2-0 and the home side had the chances to be ahead by at least double that scoreline.
 
But the visitors put in a more spirited performance during the second period and they staged an improbable comeback thanks to home stopper Alex Londors.
 
The game also had what has now seemingly become a customary controversial decision by the match officials against Portchester.
 
In this match what looked to be a perfectly good goal in the first half was ruled out for offside - had that rightly stood, the visitors could well have been heading back down the M27 with all three points.
 
The visitors got off to the worst possible start though when they went a goal behind with less than a minute played. Team Solent won possession in midfield and after the ball was worked forward, keeper Charlie Searle blocked Hisham Kasimu’s effort with his legs.
 
The loose ball rolled to Luke Mitchell and he rolled his shot into the net.
 
Portchester went close to equalising on 11 minutes when a free kick from the left was pulled back to Luke Middleton. His cross was headed towards goal by Mike Turvey but the ball bounced down off the crossbar the wrong side of the line.
 
Silvano Obeng had two half chances for the home side - the first saw him beat Charlie Searle to the ball but he ran out of pitch before he could fire a shot off, and the second saw him curl his shot wide.
 
Team Solent got their second goal on 15 minutes when a through ball straight down the middle of the pitch found Obeng, who was allowed to run through on goal and he took the ball around Charlie Searle and slotted his shot home.
 
Portchester then had a series of corners from which Turvey headed Charlie Cooper’s cross narrowly over the target and Londors dropped a cross but it plugged in the muddy goalmouth before he recovered to gather the ball.
 
Charlie Searle then came to Portchester’s rescue with two fine saves to deny Kasimu and then a further low dive to push out Obeng’s shot on goal.
 
The visitors then had what looked like a perfectly good goal disallowed. Charlie Cooper crossed the ball into the box and Turvey headed the ball home. However, the linesman judged that a Portchester player loitering at the far post was interfering with play and raised his flag for offside.
 
Charlie Searle then prevented Mitchell scoring with a long range shot and Obeng used his strength to create some space to shoot but his scuffed shot was easily gathered by Royals’ keeper.
 
It was Londors’ turn to make some saves at the start of the second half and the home keeper blocked a shot on goal after spilling Cooper’s cross and then tipped the resulting corner away from everyone as it went across the six yard box.
 
Portchester pulled a goal back on 65 minutes in bizarre circumstances. Josh Warren launched a free kick from just inside his own half into the penalty area. Londors came off his line to try and claim the ball but he misjudged its flight and could only watch in horror as it bounced behind him and then up into the roof of the net.
 
If that was bizarre, Portchester’s equaliser on 72 minutes was simply ridiculous. This time Londors tried to play his way out of trouble when dealing with a long through ball into the penalty area.
 
Turvey caught him in possession and then slid in to touch the ball away from the keeper. He then picked himself up and rolled the ball into the empty net.
 
Londors almost completed a spectacular hat-trick of errors three minutes later when he made a mess of dealing with Steve Ramsey’s low shot but he did enough to prevent it going in.
 
There was a frantic end to the game in the closing stages as both sides looked to snatch a late winner.
 
With eight minutes remaining Kasimu got to a ball first to catch Charlie Searle straying off his line - fortunately for the visiting keeper the snap shot only found the side netting.
 
Turvey then went close to netting only for Londors to turn the shot away at his near post, and he stopped the visitors from scoring again moments later when he was equal to Ramsey’s shot.
 
The home side pushed forward again and Charlie Searle gathered substitute Ethan Taylor’s shot at the second attempt and Sam Hartley’s header in front of goal was blocked.

     

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

+44 (0) 1329 233833