Royals’ superb run continues... Tired Deans are defeated

Jamie Musselwhite scores a penalty in Portchester's win. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jamie Musselwhite scores a penalty in Portchester's win. Picture: Neil Marshall
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AFC Portchester powered up to fifth in the Wessex League premier division with a comfortable 2-0 win over Hamworthy United at Wicor Rec on Saturday.

The Royals stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games thanks to goals from Alex Baldacchino and Jamie Musselwhite, who netted from the penalty spot.

Manager Graham Rix felt the win was no more than his in-form team deserved.

‘We never looked in any trouble, although it wasn’t easy on a very difficult pitch,’ he said.

‘There was some doubt beforehand whether the game would go ahead but we wanted to go out and get on with it.

‘After 15 minutes I thought we were really at it, even though the pitch wasn’t conducive for playing good football.

‘But once in front we were guilty of taking our foot off the pedal and then it was difficult to get it back.

‘Sometimes you just need to keep things locked at the back and grind out a result.

‘This was one of those games where the important thing was picking up three points. We are closing in on the leading group and still have games in hand.’

The Royals led 1-0 at the break after Baldacchino reacted quickest to slot 
home the rebound when a Jack Salter-Vaile effort bounced back off the crossbar.

Rix’s side had to wait until seven minutes from the end to seal the win.

Andy Rinomhota was upended inside the area and Musselwhite drove home his spot-kick.

Rix said: ‘Now we have got everyone fit we are not a bad little unit.’

Elsewhere, Horndean manager Dave Carter blamed tiredness for his side’s 2-0 defeat at Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

‘We had an energy-sapping league cup quarter-final in midweek that went to extra time,’ he said.

‘It is not surprising a number of our players were feeling a bit leggy.

‘Nathan Paxton hit the crossbar and Harry Potter missed a good one-on-one.’

After conceding an early goal, Horndean’s fate was sealed when Bemerton added a second with the final kick of the game.