A Royal celebration as Portchester lift the cup

Joe Bye celebrates netting for Portchester in the Russell-Cotes Cup. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141332)
Joe Bye celebrates netting for Portchester in the Russell-Cotes Cup. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141332)
Theo Lewis scored for the Hawks in the 38th minute at Wealdstone. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Good show on the road as Hawks impress to beat Wealdstone

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Joe Bye and Louie Castles netted as AFC Portchester lifted the Russell-Cotes Cup with a 2-0 win against Fareham Town at Wicor Rec last night.

Both sides looked up for this cup final but it was the Royals who struck first.

Simon Woods rolled the ball to Bye on the edge of the box and he drove it past the Fareham keeper Luke Douglas.

The home side pushed on looking for a second, with Woods’ pace their big weapon.

But the visitors were nearly level with their first attempt on 20 minutes.

A Wayne Boud free-kick had Jon Webb scrambling.

Woods then nearly extended Portchester’s lead with a glancing header from a neat Jake Thompson cross.

Two minutes after the restart Fareham had claims for a penalty, as a goal-mouth scramble left Ashley Tattersall on the deck.

But the referee waved play on.

The game became a physical affair and Fareham pressed forward but Portchester weathered the storm.

The Royals then grabbed the crucial second on 65 minutes.

Woods again outpaced his marker and Castles did the rest with a good finish.

The game took a bitter turn, with three players sent off in quick succession.

Bye was the first to see red for a hard tackle on Robbie Pittman.

As a result, a brawl broke out, with Pittman and Portchester’s Joe Noakes seeing red.

Fareham’s Graham Lindsey saw a header flash past the post but the nine-man Royals held on.

AFC Portchester: Webb, Pottage, Noakes, J. Thompson, Maddison, Moody, Castles, Bye, Musselwhite, Woods, D. Thompson. Subs: Stone, Hardy, Lynch, Robbins, Hutchings.

Fareham Town: Douglas, Martin, Tigwell, Lewis, Jones, Tayler, Boud, Humble, Lindsey, Tattersall, Pittman. Subs: Cotton, Wilson, Cripps, Wheeler, Bunton.

– TIM BIRKBECK