Rix’s Royals show class to beat champions

AFC Portchester boss Graham Rix   Picture: Paul Jacobs
AFC Portchester boss Graham Rix Picture: Paul Jacobs
AFC Portchester boss Ian Saunders. Picture: Neil Marshall (170298-18)

Royals told to flex promotion muscle

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Manager Graham Rix was in a reflective mood after AFC Portchester romped to a 4-1 win over Wessex League premier division champions Salisbury FC at Wicor Rec.

‘We have had the potential to do this all season,’ he said.

‘From the start we were very energetic and on the front foot.

‘Up until now we have created lots of chances but failed to take them.

‘We fully deserved the win and it leaves us thinking what might have been.’

Two early Jason Parish goals gave the hosts the initiative before the champions hit back to reduce the deficit.

Curt Robbins restored the Royals’ two-goal advantage scoring with a classy turn and volley.

Before half-time Luke Sweeney extended the home side’s lead, scoring from close-range after good work from Parish.

Horndean were pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Bemerton Heath Harlequins at Five Heads Park after taking a two-goal lead.

The home side looked comfortable, leading 2-0 after 62 minutes through goals from Robbie Tambling and Ryan Thomas.

Bemerton, however, used their height and power to level from two set-pieces – their equaliser arriving two minutes from time.

‘It felt like a defeat in the changing room afterwards,’ said Horndean manager Craig Pearce.

‘Dropping two points was a bitter pill to swallow.

‘It has been an epic effort from the players and they started to look a bit tired in wht was their third game this week.

‘We still have another four games to play in just over a week to finish the season.

‘Our aim is still to see if we can catch AFC Portchester and grab fifth place.’

A patched up Fareham Town crashed to a 5-0 defeat at fourth-placed Andover Town.

‘We only had nine available players the day before but managed to get a couple more in to make up the bare 11,’ said Fareham boss Steve Stone.

In the Puma Engineering Hampshire League premier division, Fleetlands slumped to a 2-0 home defeat against Winchester Castle.

There was little joy for Clanfield who suffered a 3-0 loss at QK Southampton.

In division one, Hayling United cruised to a 5-0 win at AFC Petersfield.