Job done as AFC Portchester return to winning ways by defeating struggling Hythe & Dibden
Manager Dave Carter was relieved as AFC Portchester returned to winning ways at Wessex League Premier Division bottom-side Hythe & Dibden last night.
George Barker's first-half stunner and Jake Raine's clincher after the restart wrapped up a 2-0 win for the Royals at struggling Hythe.
It followed on from defeats for Portchester to PO postcode rivals Moneyfields and Horndean - in the FA Vase and league respectively - while Saturday's trip to Christchurch was abandoned with 25 minutes to play with Carter's men leading 4-0.
The Royals boss stressed picking up victory at struggling Hythe, who've failed to collect a point in 12 league games so far, was crucial - and they managed to do just that.
Carter said: ‘We’re starting to climb the league now. They (Hythe) worked hard, to be fair, even though they’re bottom of the league and had a few hidings.
‘I think the new manager has gone in there now, got them a little bit organised, they’ve got a few new players and things.
‘They worked hard without really threatening our goal, it was just a matter of us taking our chances, we missed a few we’d usually put away. It was about making sure we got three points - that was the main focus on the evening.’
The only downside of the evening for Portchester were the fact Curt DaCosta (knee) and Marley Ridge (hamstring) were forced off with injuries, while dual-signed AFC Totton striker Ryan Pennery was absent through illness.
The Royals were made to wait until first half stoppage-time before breaking the deadlock courtesy of Barker's fine finish.
Midfielder Raine doubled the Royals' advantage in the final 10 minutes as they secured a first win in three matches.
But Carter was frustrated it wasn't a second victory in succession after Saturday's Christchurch abandonment with his side in complete control.
He added: ‘If you give these teams something to hang onto they’ve got something there, all the time it was 0-0 they had a chance.
‘It was a great finish from George Barker (first goal), bending one into the bottom corner from about 25 yards.
‘That’s the frustration of Saturday (Christchurch abandonment) because if you look at it we’d be up to eighth with games in hand, but we’ve got to take it on the chin and move on.’