Jamie Musselwhite scored both the goals as AFC Portchester beat Wessex League premier division rivals Moneyfields 2-1 at Wicor Rec last night.
The win stretches the Royals’ unbeaten run to nine matches, while Moneyfields ended the game with 10 men after Tyler Giddings was sent off for a professional foul.
The hosts took the lead on the half-hour mark when an excellent cross to the far post from Jack Salter-Vaile saw Musselwhite power home a header past the despairing Moneys keeper Peter Hook.
Moneyfields’ best effort came on half-time when Conor Bailey’s free-kick slammed into the wall.
The visitors came back strongly after the break, though, thanks to the introduction of Bobby Scott.
The substitute levelled the scores early in the second half with a curling free-kick from 25 yards.
Rejuvenated Moneyfields piled on the pressure and almost got a second when they hit the crossbar.
However, the Royals weathered the storm and went 2-1 up when substitute Alex Baldacchino cut the ball back for Musselwhite’s second of the game.
Late on, the lively Joe Noakes was fouled on the edge of the Moneyfields area by Giddings who, as the last defender, was dismissed.
Musselwhite was denied a hat-trick by the diving Hook.
‘I’m delighted with the three points,’ said AFC Portchester’s director of football Mick Jenkins.
‘The lads have shown great character to keep the winning run going.
‘To beat teams like Blackfield & Langley and Moneyfields, who are two top sides, shows the boys have got real spirit among them.
‘It was a hard-fought, well-contested derby’
However, Moneyfields manager Miles Rutherford was disappointed with the defeat.
He said: ‘We definitely deserved a point from the game.
‘In the second half we had a lot of the game and we looked like the only side that would win it.
‘Then we got a sucker-punch and conceded a goal from poor defending.’