Portchester through but Deans crash out

Former Horndean keeper Jason Plomer was a key man in Portchester's cup triumph. Picture: Mick Young (112773-02)
Former Horndean keeper Jason Plomer was a key man in Portchester's cup triumph. Picture: Mick Young (112773-02)
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman (170972-31)

Bradbury hails his steely Hawks

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AFC Portchester booked their spot in the third round of the Wessex League Cup.

Simon Woods and substitute Will Tickle netted the second-half goals as Glenn Bridgman’s side chalked up a 2-1 success over Verwood at Wicor Rec.

However, they owed much to keeper Jason Plomer, who produced a series of fine stops to keep the scores level in the first half.

Verwood began well and could have found themselves a couple of goals ahead but for the Portchester keeper.

Plomer denied both Dean Evans and Russ Dyer at point-blank range to keep his side in the game. And he soon came to the rescue again, denying Dyer when the Verwood striker looked favourite to make it 1-0.

Having survived intense pressure in the opening 20 minutes, Portchester slowly began to compete.

Glen Knight was at the centre of their best moves, while Liam Horsted and Woods were becoming a nuisance for the Verwood defence.

However, the visitors still looked most likely to break the deadlock.

Matt Edwards wasted another good chance, though, as he lifted a shot over Plomer only to see it drift wide of the far post.

Portchester rallied again shortly before the break.

The best move of the half led to Woods taking a through ball in his stride before teeing up Horsted.

But the hosts’ hitman saw his shot somehow tipped over the bar by Verwood keeper Chris Lynch.

The second half was just 60 seconds old when Portchester shook things up with an opening goal, though.

Woods chased a long clearance to win a challenge with Dan Audin before easing past Lynch and rolling the ball into the empty net.

With confidence levels lifted, Portchester quickly doubled their advantage.

A fine pass from Horsted presented substitute Tickle with the chance to race clear and thump the ball home.

Verwood still looked capable of getting back into the contest, though.

And five minutes before the final whistle they pulled a goal back through Charlie Elleysee.

But Portchester held their nerve to book a place in the next round.

Joining them will be Christchurch, who hammered 10-man Horndean 4-0 in a controversial clash at Hurn Bridge.

Trailing 2-0 at the break, the Deans’ cause was not helped when Jack Warren was sent off on 65 minutes for an alleged two-footed tackle.

‘The best team won but we were not happy with the officials,’ said Horndean assistant manager Steve May.

‘We paid the price for being slow out of the blocks.’