Royals show their class

Rob Evans
Rob Evans
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AFC Portchester produced the perfect response to their weekend FA Vase exit with an emphatic 6-0 win over Andover New Street in the Wessex League Cup.

The Royals, who meet Newport IOW in the next round, went ahead after three minutes.

Neat one-touch passing between Simon Woods and Jamie Musselwhite presented the former with a chance on goal.

His chip looked destined for the back of the net but ended up being headed into his own goal by Steve Tucker.

As Portchester piled on the pressure, Andover couldn’t get out of their own half.

And it could have been 2-0 if Woods had taken advantage of some comical defending.

But the home side did extend the lead soon afterwards. A well-worked short corner saw Joe Bye hammer the ball in at the near post.

It was 3-0 on the half-hour mark, when Gary Thorne headed into his own net under pressure from Craig Hardy.

Rix’s side were now rampant and added two more goals just before the break.

First Simon Stone’s drive skipped off the surface to beat Sam Catton.

Then, a minute later, Rob Evans’ curling cross got caught in the wind and fell into the net to make it 5-0.

The hosts still dictated play at the start of the second half but were unable to further their lead, despite good efforts from Sammy Igoe and substitute Luke Sweeney

Andover finally had sight on goal after 62 minutes, but Harry Burt’s effort didn’t trouble Royals keeper Lloyd Thomas.

The hosts deserved a sixth goal when a flowing 16-pass move saw Bye move in on goal.

However, he could only fire his shot straight at Catton.

Portchester eased off the gas a bit as Rix looked to conserve the energy of his squad.

But they still remained in the hunt for more goals as Hardy’s 20-yard drive went inches wide of the target.

They were then rewarded on 78 minutes when Evans was first to a loose ball and his shot deflected past the out-stretched keeper.

Other results: Petersfield 8-3 Meon Milton 3 (PSC); Moneyfields 1-2 Horndean (RCC)

– TIM BIRKBECK