FA Cup journey over for brave Portchester

Ryan Woodford has making 200 appearances for the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland

Woodford challenged to make 400 Hawks appearances

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AFC Portchester’s first-ever FA Cup adventure ended with a 2-1 defeat against Wessex Premier hosts Newport IOW at St Georges Park last night.

Following Saturday’s 2-2 draw in the first meeting between the clubs at Wicor Mill, the sides met again.

The Islanders led 1-0 at the break after an end to end opening 45 minutes and extended their lead with a penalty 15 minutes after the restart.

Scott Cooper reduced the arrears at the death with a well-taken goal, but it was too late to save the visitors.

Portchester chairman Mark Greenham is proud of the way his club have conducted themselves in their first experience in the famous 140-year old competition.

‘It has been great fun although it would have been nice to get further,’ said Greenham.

‘We should have beaten Newport at our place in the first game and I thought the penalty we conceded in the replay was harsh.

‘But we have had a great time as a club and had a record attendance at our place.

‘In the last round we took two coach loads of supporters and we filled another one on the Isle of Wight.

‘They have been a couple of great cup occasions.

‘It has been a great experience and we will look forward to doing it again next season.

‘The players have learned from it too and know – if they didn’t before – what they have to aspire to.

‘We consider ourselves to be an up and coming club and the aim now is to go on and win our league.

‘The target is to achieve Wessex Premier football.

‘We have the players who can achieve that.

‘All they have to do is keep themselves fit and apply themselves.’

Disappointed manager Glen Bridgman felt it was a game his side could have won.

‘We had two one-on-ones in the first half but didn’t take them,’ said Bridgman.

‘Our goalkeeper hardly had a save to make in the first half.

‘If you don’t take your chances you don’t win.

‘Once Newport went 2-0 up they just sat behind the ball and made it difficult for us.’