Portchester’s FA Vase dream ends in front of ‘very hostile’ crowd at Warminster
AFC Portchester crashed out of the Buildbase FA Vase in miserable fashion, losing their second round tie 3-1 at lower division Warminster Town.
The Royals trailed 3-0 in the second half before Dan Wooden scored a consolation goal.
Manager Mick Catlin was disappointed and questioned whether the game should have been played
'To be perfectly honest I don't think the game should have gone ahead,' he said.
'The pitch was an absolute mudbath.
'Once the referee decided to start, though, we needed to roll our sleeves up and battle.
'Some of our players didn't.
'We got beaten up a bit by big, physical opponents in front of a very hostile crowd.
'Warminster were deserved winners because they adapted to the conditions better than us.
'It suited their style of game more and we couldn't play our normal game.
'I couldn't fault our effort but we failed to deal with the conditions.
The hosts went in front midway through the first half when a striker raced onto a long through ball. Royals goalkeeper Brad Snelling slipped as he came out and couldn't recover in time.
'They caught us pushing up when we should have been dropping back,' said Catlin.
A second goal just before half-time left the visitors with a mountain to climb.
The Royals’ fate was sealed when the hosts notched a third soon after the restart.
Defender Ollie Searle caught his foot in the mud when trying to clear and sent the ball straight to a home striker who made no mistake.
Dan Wooden pulled a goal back with a looping header and then sent a shot against the post.
'If we had scored a second instead of hitting the woodwork it might have sparked a late fightback,' said Catlin.
'The crowd was unbelievable.
'I think a lot had come over from the local rugby club where they had been drinking all morning after watching the World Cup final.
'They gave us everything.'
Baffins Milton’s home Vase tie with Bradford Town was postponed. They try again at the PMC Stadium this Wednesday.
Petersfield Town’s home tie with Roman Glass St George also fell foul of the rain. That has been rearranged for tomorrow night.