Former Oxford United young gun and leading scorer Kieran Roberts depart AFC Portchester as part of squad 'reshuffle'
AFC Portchester have been hit by the loss of leading scorer Kieran Roberts.
The Royals forward has departed the club after a 'falling out' in the wake of the 3-1 defeat to rivals Horndean in the Wessex Premier Division last midweek.
Roberts had been banging in the goals for Dave Carter' s men this term, striking 15 times in as many appearances - leaving him as the division's second highest scorer.
But Portchester will now have to do without him after Carter confirmed his exit. Roberts has been joined by former Oxford United under-23s midfielder Aaron McCreadie, who has also departed after featuring seven times for the Royals.
Manager Carter, whose side were leading 4-0 at Christchurch when their Wessex Premier contest was abandoned yesterday, says a squad 'reshuffle' was required following a slow start to the campaign.
He said: ‘Kieran’s left the club, he’s no longer with us. There was a bit of a fallout Tuesday night (after the defeat to Horndean).
‘He’s got 15 goals, he’s a great goalscorer, he’s a good finisher but he’s gone. We’ve got to move on and push on from there.
‘The loss of Kieran, we’re bringing in Ryan to replace him at the moment, we’re looking to get another striker and a winger in as well.
‘It’s a reshuffling process for us, we’re only two months into our season, with a new club so it’s going to take time to get things where we need to be and to get things right.
‘Aaron McCreadie has moved on as well. We’ve had a bit of a shuffle up this week. We’ve got another lad coming in later this week - I think our midfield needs a little bit more bite.’
Portchester were on course for a first win in three matches before yesterday's abandonment with 20 minutes to play.
Dual-signed AFC Totton striker Ryan Pennery's double saw him get his first Royals goals on his maiden start while Steve Ramsey and Lee Wort also netted.
Portchester vice-chairman Graeme Moir labelled the decision to call the game off as 'puzzling, frustrating and contradictory' and manager Carter says conditions were no worse when the game was stopped than before kick-off.
Carter said: ‘I didn’t think it was any worse when he called it off than when we started. There were areas of the pitch that were boggy but they were boggy before we even kicked off.
‘It rained the whole game. We warmed up on the pitch and everything - it just seemed to me he was intent of getting the game called off.
‘I’m not sure why it wasn’t just called off before the game. We had to travel there with a fuel shortage. It was his opinion (the referee’s) and I said to the boys after they’ve just got to take it on the chin. We were 4-0 up and completely dominating the game.’