Second cup hat-trick of 2021/22 for AFC Portchester striker Kieran Roberts in FA Vase victory against Romsey
Kieran Roberts bagged his second cup treble of the season as AFC Portchester recorded a fourth successive victory in all competitions.
Roberts’ triple in a 4-0 home FA Vase tie against lower tier Romsey ensured a second qualifying round trip to Moneyfields.
It will be a fascinating tie on many levels, not least because Royals boss Dave Carter and his management team of Gav Spurway and Brett Poate were previously at Dover Road.
Eight of the Royals’ starting XI against Romsey - Steve Mowthorpe, Zak Sharp, Conor Bailey, Sam Pearce, Tom Dinsmore, Marley Ridge, George Barker and Roberts - are all ex-Moneys men as well.
And so were five of the subs at the weekend - Jake Raine, Lewis Fennemore, Lamin Jatta, Curt Da Costa and Tyler Giddings.
‘It’ll be an interesting game,’ said Carter, who will be making his first return to Moneys since leaving last February. ‘But we’ve got a few games before then.’
Indeed they have, and all at home in three different competitions - vlower tier Laverstock & Ford in Tuesday’s Wessex League Cup tie, v Stoneham in a Wessex Premier fixture next Saturday, and v lower division New Milton in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
Roberts scored the only goal of the first half against Romsey, before going onto complete his hat-trick - following on from an FA Cup treble against Horndean last month.
Ridge completed a victory which saw ex-Gosport Borough utility player Owen Roundell again deployed at centre half alongside Pearce.
Another former Privett Park player, Aaron McCreadie, was in midfield following his recent arrival from Salisbury.
‘It was comfortable throughout,’ said Carter. ‘It was only 1-0 at half-time but we had a few words and moved the ball quicker in the second half.’
Da Costa came off the bench for his first competitive minutes following injury, and is in contention to start against Laverstock. The subs against Romsey could all get a start against the Wiltshire club as well, while Lee Wort and George Colson - unavailable for the Vase win - return to the squad.
Roberts now has 11 goals in all competitions in 2021/22 and is the second highest scorer among those playing in the Wessex League top flight. Brockenhurst’s 13-goal ex-Totton striker Silvano Obeng is the only man with more to his name.
Overall the top scorer in the Wessex League, though, is Folland Sports’ Clayd Roach. Thanks to a four-goal cup haul against higher tier Hythe & Dibden and Division 1 hat-tricks against Verwood and Fleet Spurs, Roach has belted 16 goals in just eight starts.