Catlin rues Portchester’s display following loss to Christchurch

Steve Ramsey was sent off for AFC Portchester in their loss to Christchurch. Picture: Neil Marshall (180728-098)
Steve Ramsey was sent off for AFC Portchester in their loss to Christchurch. Picture: Neil Marshall (180728-098)

Mick Catlin rued AFC Portchester's second-half performance as they fell to a 4-1 Wessex League premier division defeat against Christchurch.

The Royals made an encouraging start and took the lead through Brandon Miller.

However, the hosts had Steve Ramsey sent off and then crumbled in spectacular fashion.

Catlin was hugely disappointed by the way his troops capitulated after half-time.

The Portchester boss said: ‘We didn't show enough grit and determination.

‘Having Steve Ramsey sent off didn't help because that made it difficult to get out and go forward.

‘We dominated the opening 10 minutes and took the lead.

‘Then we gifted them a sloppy penalty and after they scored we just fell apart.

‘We didn't respond well to conceding and trailed 2-1 at the break.

‘They ended up punishing us with two more goals before the end.

‘We have made the decision to go with some of the younger players and see if they can sink or swim at this level. A few have sunk.'

The Royals made a strong start with Miller and Craig Hardy going close in the early stages. 

Miller put the home side in front on seven minutes after Jack Breed squared the ball across to him.

Chances continued to fall to Portchester and Mike Turvey fired agonisingly wide.

However, on 28 minutes Luke Middleton needlessly handled in the area and Christchurch equalised from the penalty spot.

It was all downhill for Catlin’s men after that.

The visitors snatched the initiative by taking the lead two minutes before the interval. 

To make matters worse, Ramsey was sent off seven minutes into the second period – leaving Portchester with a mountain to climb.

Two goals in the final 10 minutes piled further misery on the hosts.

Caitlin now faces the job of lifting his players for Tuesday night's Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final at Moneyfields.

The boss added: ‘We thought we had steadied the ship with draws at Team Solent and Baffins.

‘It was just masking our problems, though.

‘We are creating enough chances but not taking them

‘When we come under pressure we give silly goals away. That is not a great combination.'

Meanwhile, Horndean’s clash against Fareham Town was postponed because of a waterlogged Five Heads Park pitch.

Baffins Milton Rovers’ game at Alresford Town also fell victim to the weather.

In division one, doubles from Declan Seiden and Liam Callahan earned United Services a 5-1 win over Verwood Town.

Callum Glen was also on target for the hosts at the Victory Stadium.