Royals extend unbeaten run

Luke Sweeney. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells
Luke Sweeney. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells
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AFC Portchester stretched their unbeaten run to seven games with a 1-0 win over Christchurch at Hurn Bridge in the Wessex Premier.

A first-half Luke Sweeney goal proved enough to earn the Royals maximum points.

Early chances fell to Portchester, with Sweeney screwing his shot wide from a good position after an excellent pass from Josh Warren.

The visitors went in front after 20 minutes when Rob Evans crossed for Sweeney, who sent his shot crashing against the crossbar.

Jamie Musselwhite failed to force the loose ball over the line but when it broke to Sweeney he made no mistake.

When the home side responded, young goalkeeper Lloyd Thomas pulled off a point-blank save to keep out a header and deny the hosts an equaliser.

The visitors were denied by the woodwork again in the second half when Musselwhite thumped a header against the bar.

Christchurch hit back forcing a series of corners but the Royals defence stood firm to keep them out.

Director of football Mick Jenkins believes the Royals are picking up a head of steam at just the right time.

‘This was a hard-fought win over a much-improved Christchurch side,’ said Jenkins.

‘This result will only give us more confidence going into tough games against Blackfield & Langley and Moneyfields.

‘In the second half our back four was superbly marshalled by Josh Warren and Craig Hardy.

‘It is good to keep a clean sheet and pick up three more points away from home.’