Late goal gives Fareham a dramatic victory in El Creekio Wessex League derby at Portchester

Will Harris
Will Harris
Share this article

A late Will Harris strike earned Fareham Town the local bragging rights with a 1-0 Wessex Premier win against AFC Portchester at the Crest Finance Stadium.

Only four minutes remained when a quickly taken short corner was delivered beyond the far post.

The unmarked Harris controlled the ball before crashing his low shot into the net to give the Reds only their second El Creekio Wessex derby win in 13 matches.

The visitors - fresh from their incredible weekend 7-1 win over leaders Alresford - took the game to the hosts in the early stages with Lewis Stockford sending a 25-yard shot over the top.

When the Royals responded, a neat header put Dan Wooden in but he dragged his shot past the near post.

Neither side could impose themselves as the game was played at a frenetic pace.

Chances were at a premium but, if anything, Fareham had slightly the better of the opening half against a Royals side who had won six and drawn one of their previous seven league matches.

Reds striker Josh Benfield was lively and went close twice in the space of a minute.

First a mistake by Josh Warren allowed him through and he forced a low save from home goalkeeper Brad Snelling.

Almost immediately, Benfield went on the outside of his defender and fired a low shot narrowly past the far post.

As the interval approached Wooden showed great skill close to the byline and set up Owen Fee, but the winger scuffed his shot from a good position inside the area.

Defences remained on top in the second half as both teams continued to cancel each other out.

The Royals looked to break quickly and one raid ended with Wooden's near post header being saved.

Fareham went closest with a free-kick to the far post where Snelling dived low to prevent the ball being deflected in by one of his own defenders.

The Royals had Ramsey sin-binned just before Harris produced his dramatic finale to extend Fareham’s winning Wessex run to three matches.

Portchester are now down to fourth after Christchurch and Portland both leapt above them.