Bell leaves Portchester with ringing in ears after disappointing draw

Wes Fogden is brought down against Hemel Hempstead. Picture: Keith Woodland

Bradbury: There’s more to come from Hawks

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It’s back to basics for AFC Portchester.

A below-par display in a 1-1 draw with Sussex League Pagham left coach Louis Bell demanding more from his men.

And he will set about getting it when they turn up for training tomorrow night.

‘We were awful for much of the match,’ said Bell.

‘And apart from a couple of lads who stood out above everyone else, the remainder didn’t perform as we know they can.

‘That is shattering and needs to be dealt with – soon.

‘It sometimes happens in early pre-season and I don’t suppose their manager was impressed either.

‘Fortunately, we have several more weeks of pre-season and most of the lads know only too well they need to step things up, otherwise they may find themselves caught out when the season starts.’

Those fans who stood in the blazing sunshine watching the two sides slog it out would no doubt agree with Bell’s sentiments.

Although, Portchester did put together several quality moves early on as the impressive Louie Castles – who grabbed a hat-trick at Selsey last weekend – teased a struggling Pagham rearguard before setting up Simon Woods to head an opener.

By then, though, the visitors had been reduced to 10 men as striker Howard Neighbour was sent off for kicking Simon Stone, who was grounded after the pair clashed in midfield.

With recent signing Joe Bye dominating the centre of the park and spraying educated passes this way and that, everything pointed to the hosts going on to win.

But it didn’t go to script as the impressive Lewis Stockford rifled a shot over and Rob Pittman had an effort cleared off the line.

And midway through the second half Pagham levelled when striker Rueben French eased through unchallenged to find the net.

Next up for AFC Portchester are United Services on Thursday.

AFC PORTCHESTER: Hutchings, Pittman, Stone, Stockford, Audin, Addison, Salter-Vaile, Bye, Woods, Horsted, Castles. Subs: Creswell, Holmes, Pottage, Thompson, Cleiffe, Black

PAGHAM: Binfield, Halker, Buckland, Pearce, Geoghan, Bradshaw, Briggs, French, Neighbour, Moran, Cox. Subs: Davidson, Sword, Atkinson, Murfin