Ramsey holds nerve to complete Portchester comeback

AFC Portchester's Olly Searle. Picture: Neil Marshall (171327-188)
AFC Portchester's Olly Searle. Picture: Neil Marshall (171327-188)
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Steve Ramsey held his nerve to convert a stoppage-time penalty and earn AFC Portchester a 2-1 win at Cowes Sports in the Wessex League premier division.

The experienced midfielder ensured the Royals maintained their push towards a top-three finsh with victory.

Meanwhile, joint-manager Mick Catlin was just glad of the three points.

‘We left it late but at this stage it is all about picking up the points,’ he said.

‘It keeps us ticking over and heading in the right direction.’

While the game started quietly, the hosts went closest with a shot that flew narrowly past the post. It took the Royals a bit of time to settle and a couple of early defensive mix-ups almost gifted the Yachtsmen the initiative.

There was a let-off when goalkeeper Lewis Noice sent a clearance straight to a home forward who lobbed his effort over the top.

Just when the Royals looked like taking control, they fell behind from the penalty spot on 31 minutes.

Harry Birmingham was guilty of a foul in the penalty area and John McKie made no mistake with his spot-kick – sending Noice the wrong-way.

The Royals levelled on 59 minutes when Olly Searle powered in a great header from a corner.

Then in stoppage-time the visitors snatched the points courtesy of Ramsey’s penalty.

Elsewhere, in-form Horndean had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Alresford Town.

Horndean started well and Mark Smith was denied after only two minutes when one-on-one with the keeper.

Ten minutes later the dominant visitors went even closer.

Benny Read delivered a good cross and Harry Jackson’s effort on goal was only inches wide.

It was an excellent opening from Michael Birmingham’s side and somehow the home keeper kept out a point-blank Smith header. The visitors continued to press and hit the woodwork twice in the space of a minute before the break.

Jackson struck the bar again seven minutes into the second half.

And in the final minute Dan Sackman saw a shot cleared off the goalline.

The Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final between the Hawks and Fareham Town was postponed because of a waterlogged Westleigh Park pitch.

United Services’ Wessex League division one trip to Fawley was another victim of the weather.

Hayling United lost 4-2 to Infinity in the top tier of the Hampshire Premier League.