Todd and Bedford off the mark as US Portsmouth increase lead at the top of Wessex Division 1
Andrew Todd and Harry Bedford celebrated their maiden US Portsmouth goals as the club moved three points clear at the top of the Wessex League Division 1.
Todd - whose goals helped Petersfield to the Wessex Premier title in 2014/15 - opened the scoring on his second league start as USP whacked promotion rivals Alton 4-1 at the Victory Stadium.
Midfielder Bedford - who struck seven times in 21 appearances for Petersfield prior to moving to USP in November - added a second following a goalless first half.
Harry Sargeant made it 3-0 and, after Alton had reduced the arrears, sub Josh Hazell tapped in from a James Franklyn cross.
It was a much-needed success after the previous week’s 3-2 home loss to another high-flyer, Hythe & Dibden.
‘I was particularly pleased for Harry Bedford to get his first goal,’ said USP boss Glenn Turnbull.
‘He got a bit of a kicking when we played at Petersfield recently - which was to be expected - but he’s been fantastic since then.
‘He’s playing a bit deeper for us than he was at Petersfield. There he played more in the hole, but James Franklyn plays that role for us.
‘Todd’s goal seemed to settle us down and we played some really good stuff after that.’
Todd could be one of a few players who appeared against Alton who is also included in the starting XI for Tuesday’s Portsmouth Senior Cup quarter final against visiting Horndean.
‘We’ll probably look to give him some more minutes,’ reported Turnbull.
‘We won’t take a risk on regulars like James Franklyn and Dec Seiden.’
Centre half Harry Birmingham is also likely to play - against his dad Michael’s team - after recovering from injury.
Youth teamer Damian Kelsall has been used in previous Portsmouth Senior Cup rounds this season and will again be in goal.
Dan Sibley - who scored four goals in a 5-0 PSC win against Baffins Reserves in September - is also in line for a start alongside the likes of Hazell and George Root.
Horndean are likely to bring a squad containing no first team regulars.
The likes of Lee Tigwell, Greg Peel, Harry Jackson and Conner Grant - who would all have played at Sholing in last Thursday’s Russell Cotes Cup tie had it not been postponed - could get a run-out.
US Portsmouth’s reserves are also through to the last eight of the Portsmouth Senior Cup and next Thursday host Fareham Town.