Boss Turnbull hails ‘really pleasing’ friendly win at AFC Portchester ahead of huge FA Vase clash

Glenn Turnbull saluted the work from the whole of his US Portsmouth squad as they claimed an eye-catching friendly win at AFC Portchester.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 2:47 pm
Lewis Fennemore rises highest for AFC Portchester in their friendly loss to US Portsmouth. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

USP battled back from a goal behind to secure an impressive 4-1 victory at The Crest Finance Stadium in their final run-out prior to next weekend's huge FA Vase fourth round home tie with Christchurch.

Boss Turnbull conceded he thought his team might be in for a 'long afternoon' when former Moneyfields defender Sam Pearce headed the Royals ahead inside a minute.

Pearce was one of numerous ex-Dover Road players in the Portchester starting XI, alongside keeper Jake Hallett, Lewis Fennemore, Marley Ridge, Tom Dinsmore and George Barker.

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Marley Ridge on the ball for AFC Portchester against US Portsmouth. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

But USP came battling back and James Franklyn's first half double was followed by two from striker Tyler Moret after the break to wrap up a standout win.

Yet rather than pick out individuals for praise, Turnbull was delighted with his whole squad as they utilised some much-needed match minutes ahead of the biggest game in the club’s history.

The USP boss said: 'We made conscious decisions to get minutes into a lot of people so we made eight changes by 55 minutes.

'It was just really pleasing for us to see - every player came in, knew their job, did what they needed to do and we just carried on from there. It was really pleasing.

Jordan Pile (right) in action for US Portsmouth during their 4-1 friendly win at Portchester. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

‘The whole squad of 20 is the ethos we like to set out. They all knew their jobs, straight in, it was really, really pleasing.

‘Seven of their (AFC Portchester s) starting team played for Moneys at Southern League last year.

‘I did arrange that one (Portchester friendly) when Dave (Carter) had taken the job but on the expectation that he would have a really, really strong side - probably stronger than maybe even Portchy were last year.

'It shows the calibre of their side, they had Cal Laycock who was one of the Wessex League top scorers when Portchester signed him, he was on the bench. It shows the calibre of side they had out.'

Portchester's Lamin Jatta (orange) keeps his eyes on the ball against US Portsmouth. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

USP secured a 2-1 FA Vase second round qualifying victory at Portchester earlier this season. They defeated another higher tier Wessex Premier outfit, Bournemouth Poppies, in the first round at the same venue.

Although there might have been a change of manager and a largely different looking playing squad from the last time they met, Turnbull warned his players the Royals would still be looking to avenge that Vase defeat.

Turnbull added: 'To be fair, the team talk centred around the fact it wasn’t about players, it was about the fact they will want to avenge the FA Vase, even though it was a friendly, so be ready for a fast start.

‘It couldn’t have got much faster - they scored after about 20 seconds!

‘I thought it could be a long afternoon. But fair play, any team conceding spends five or 10 minutes of getting their composure back, but after that I thought we were the only team in it.

‘I did say to Paul Kelly (AFC Portchester chairman), ‘is there any chance we could just move up here?’