AFC Portchester maintain Wessex League title bid with another come-from-behind home win

AFC Portchester's Wessex Premier title bid gathered further momentum after they chalked up a fourth successive league win.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 2:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 6:02 pm
Portchester's Nathan Paxton (7) celebrates his goal against Hamworthy with Rob Evans (4). Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The Royals, however, needed to come from behind for the second home game in a row to see off Hamworthy United and win 3-2 at the Crest Finance Stadium.

Manager Mick Catlin admitted it was a vital win as his team look to chase down top two Alresford and AFC Stoneham.

'We knew that anything less than a win would not be good enough,' said Catlin.

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Jordan Rose heads clear during AFC Portchester's win over Hamworthy. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

'Though we didn't play great, the players showed a lot of spirit to come from 2-1 down in the second half.

'We started well and got ourselves in front.

'Then for some reason we took our foot off the gas and let them back into it.

'Hamworthy might feel a bit aggrieved that they didn't put the game to bed when they had the chance.

Dan Wooden, right, battles for possession against Hamworthy. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

'It was a good end-to-end game and we are pleased to come away with another win.'

The Royals made a good start with Nathan Paxton giving them a 15th minute lead, arriving at the back post to side-foot in a cross from the left.

They were then guilty of giving away a sloppy goal when the defence misjudged the ball in the swirling wind.

Hamworthy took the lead after Jordan Rose was caught in possession on the sticky pitch.

Jason Parish fails to get possession during AFC Portchester's Wessex League win against Hamworthy. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

In response, the hosts pushed Dan Wooden further forward and the move paid off.

Jack Barker produced a great run down the line and Wooden volleyed home - his 17th goal of the season.

Ten minutes from the end man of the match Craig Hardy rose at the back-post to head in from a corner.

So for the second time in eight days, Portchester had come from 1-2 down to win - having beaten Baffins Milton in identical fashion the previous weekend.

Jason Parish is denied by Hamworthy keeper Tom Rees. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

'After scoring our third goal it was just a case of seeing the game out,' said Catlin.

'Hardy was strong in both boxes and superb for us.

'The players are starting to believe we can win it if we get onto a decent run.

'We will have to win the majority of our games and hope that Alresford and AFC Stoneham have a wobble.

'If they do then we have to be ready to take advantage of it.'

The Royals face another big home game next Saturday with Christchurch the visitors.