AFC Portchester boss Graeme Rix paid tribute to his side’s ‘best performance of the season’ as the Royals won 2-0 at Wessex League premier division leaders Moneyfields.
A hard-fought derby ended in the visitors’ favour after Nathan Kirby’s first-half opener was followed by an unfortunate own goal from Moneys’ Tyler Giddings.
And for Rix, there was plenty to be pleased with from his fifth-placed side’s Dover Road showing as they cut the gap on Moneys to seven points.
He said: ‘We were fantastic, I have to be honest.
‘To win at Moneyfields is a real statement.
‘That’s probably our best performance of the season.
‘Everybody stuck to the task and they were all a credit to the football club.
‘I was proud of the lads and the way they approached it, how they played and their attitude throughout.’
For Rix, it was a victory that could have been made more emphatic, had his side taken all of their chances.
‘It could have been more – we dominated the game from start to finish,’ he said.
‘Our goalkeeper didn’t have a shot to save and that’s credit to not only the defence but the whole team and how hard they worked for each other.
‘We created umpteen great situations that we didn’t make the most of – but we were at it for the full 90 minutes.
‘Because of our cup runs we have been playing catch up for most of the season but that victory has not done us any harm at all.’
For Moneys assistant boss Matt Jones, it was a tough loss to take – but one quickly put into perspective.
He said: ‘At the minute with all of the injuries and suspensions we have picked up – which is partly our own fault – it would have been nice to get a bit more daylight between us and the others.
‘We were hoping to keep a clean sheet and win it at the other end – but that didn’t go for us, we didn’t test their goalkeeper enough which was a bit of a blow.
‘But if you had said to us at the halfway point in the season we would be three points clear at the top of the table, we would have taken it.
‘A win on Saturday at Cowes and everything will start looking a lot rosier again.’
Elsewhere, Bognor returned to the top of the Ryman League premier division – leapfrogging rivals Hawks – following a 2-0 win over Kingstonian.
An Ollie Pearce penalty and second-half Darren Budd strike settled the Nyewood Lane contest.
In Russell-Cotes Cup action, Baffins were beaten 2-0 at home by Liss Athletic.