Wake-up call for AFC Portchester

Jamie Musslewhite fires narrowly over the bar. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14629-1)
Jamie Musslewhite fires narrowly over the bar. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14629-1)
Alex Pike. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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AFC Portchester tumbled to a 2-0 defeat to Folland Sports at Wicor Rec on Saturday.

Second-half goals from former Hayling United hitman Alex Easton and Ryan Long condemned the hosts to the Wessex League premier division defeat.

It rocked Portchester’s ambitions of bringing Southern League football to Wicor Rec.

And first-team coach Louis Bell reckoned there were no excuses for the display.

He insisted it was ‘not acceptable’ and suggested some players may have had one eye on tonight’s Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final against the Hawks at Westleigh Park.

‘It’s no good pouring out excuses, the fact is the team – and I mean them all – were far below what they are capable of and that is not acceptable,’ said Bell.

‘And if they don’t already know it, they soon will. I promise you.

‘It was a step backwards, nobody seemed interested – maybe they were focusing on the match tonight and let the Folland lads have things their own way.

‘It’s easy for me to say let’s move on but we need to have a good think about why a team of experienced players didn’t turn up.

‘It means sorting them out individually and collectively – then we can move on.’

It was only after Easton and Long had put the visitors in control early in the second half that Portchester began to look remotely interested.

Even then their timid response was meat and drink for Folland.

And better finishing by Mike Turvey and James Roden could have made the final scoreline more emphatic.

The nearest Portchester came to finding the net was a Jamie Musselwhite volley which flew just over the bar.

AFC Portchester: Webb, Maddison, Stone, Salter-Vaile, Audin, Moody, J Thompson, Bye, Musselwhite, Lynch, Crosswell. Subs: Black, Hutchings, Hardy, D Thompson, Kirby