Lee-thal Wort at the double as AFC Portchester claim first home Wessex League Premier Division success of 2021/22

Lee Wort struck in each half as AFC Portchester celebrated their first home Wessex League Premier Division win of the season.

By Simon Carter
Sunday, 17th October 2021, 3:22 pm
Lee Wort scored twice in Portchester's first home Wessex League win of 2021/22, against Alresford.

Picture: Keith Woodland
Lee Wort scored twice in Portchester's first home Wessex League win of 2021/22, against Alresford. Picture: Keith Woodland

Dave Carter’s squad had been hit hard by illness last week, leading boss Dave Carter to cancel Thursday night training.

He admitted he took ‘a bit of a gamble’ in starting some players who had been under the weather.

Midfielder Jake Raine had to come off at half-time and skipper Steve Ramsey lasted around an hour. Elsewhere, Connor Bailey and Sam Pearce - two others who had been struggling in the week - got through 90 minutes.

‘Some of the lads were dying on their feet at half-time,’ reported Carter.

‘It was very pleasing after a tough week.

‘I don’t think Alresford’s league position reflects their side - they drew with Horndean and Hamworthy.’

Two ‘fantastic’ finishes from Wort took his seasonal tally to 12 - the first a volley into the top corner and the second a calm finish after being played through, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper.

Alresford replied in second half stoppage time, Zak Sharp being penalised for what Carter thought was a harsh handball and the resultant penalty being converted by Brandon Channell.

Ryan Pennery was handed another start as he continues his recovery from nearly two years on the sidelines with a serious injury.

He is due to stay with Portchester for the rest of the month before parent club AFC Totton will assess the situation.

Carter is hoping ‘common sense’ will prevail with Totton flying high at the top of the Southern League Division 1 South table and not obviously in need of extra firepower.

‘Totton want Ryan to get fit and he won’t do that sitting on the bench in the Southern League. He just wants to play - he’s a fit lad but it’s match sharpness he needs.’

There was also a third Royals start for ex-Totton midfielder Adam Tomasso, who has moved to Portchester permanently. Having made his debut in central midfield at Hamworthy, he has appeared in central defence in the last two games – partnering Owen Roundell against Alresford.

Former Blackfield & Langley and Gosport Borough winger/striker Liam Robinson is on the way back from hip surgery. He signed for Portchester in the summer but hasn’t played a game yet. It is unlikely he will be available before Christmas, though.

Carter confirmed US Portsmouth have put in seven days notice of approach for midfielder Tom Dinsmore. ‘He wants to play regularly and I understand that,’ said the boss.

The Royals are in Russell Cotes Cup action at home to Wessex 1 club Infinity on Tuesday. Under-23 bosses Joe Noakes and Lloyd Kelly will take the team, which will be mainly U23s with a handful of first team squad players who need minutes.

Joe Briggs could be one of them, as he was back on the bench against Alresford after a few weeks of being unavailable.