US Portsmouth boss rues ‘massive gulf’ between top and bottom halves of Wessex Premier after second 5-0 caning in eight days

US Portsmouth boss Tom Grice lamented the ‘massive gulf’ between the top and bottom halves of the Wessex League Premier Division after a second 5-0 caning in eight days.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 2:16 pm
US Portsmouth boss Tom Grice, left. Picture: Keith Woodland

A week after a home thrashing by Bashley, USP lost by the same score at a Hamworthy United side now unbeaten in 16 league and cup ties.

Matt Neale struck a hat-trick for Tim Sills’ side with Max Wilcock and Cameron Munn completing the nap hand success in Dorset.

Asked if the scoreline told the whole story, Grice admitted: ‘Yeah, it does.

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‘They were strong opposition and they didn’t stop the whole game.

‘There’s lessons to be learned about our overall fitness. There’s a lot to work on and we will address that at training on Tuesday and Thursday.

‘Sometimes you have to accept you are beaten by the better team.

‘They’ve got (Steve) Devlin pulling the strings, but they haven’t got any other out and out outstanding players like (Steve) Hutchings.

‘They work really hard, they defend well as a unit, they have lots of players with five years Wessex League experience or more.

‘There is a massive gulf between the top of the league and the bottom half.

‘We just need to play to our strengths. There’s no point getting despondent about it. It’s a long, long season - we will be winning games, no doubt about that, but this (Hamworthy) was another tough game from minute one.

‘It was a difficult day. Five nil was a correct scoreline - they missed other chances.’

Assistant boss Tom Jeffes (unavailable) was a huge loss to USP at the centre of defence.

Grice also started with two members of last season’s U18s - keeper Damien Kelsall and defender Owen Scammell.

There was also a start for Dylan Riches, who this time last year was playing two divisions lower for Clanfield in the Hampshire Premier League.

In addition, Charlie Osborne - recently of Baffins and Littlehampton - came on for his USP Wessex debut.