US Portsmouth claim rare point against one of the Wessex League’s top 10 with much-improved display against Brockenhurst

US Portsmouth have one last chance to claim a win against a side likely to finish in the Wessex League Premier Division’s top ten.

By Simon Carter
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 12:57 pm
Goalscorer Cameron Quirke in action for US Portsmouth against Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshall
Goalscorer Cameron Quirke in action for US Portsmouth against Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshall

In 19 games against the current top ten this season, US have picked up just four points.

Draws against Moneyfields, Baffins and Alton was followed at the weekend with another point in a 1-1 home draw with fifth-placed Brockenhurst.

Tuesday’s home game with seventh-placed AFC Portchester therefore provides USP with their final chance to claim a statement victory in their debut season at step 5 level.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Cameron Quirke is all smiles after equalising for USP. Picture: Neil Marshall

The highest-placed team USP have beaten this season is 11th-placed Hamble.

Joe Chamberlain put the Badgers in front yesterday before Cameron Quirke levelled with a 25-yarder just before half-time that caught the keeper by surprise.

It was USP’s first goal since February 26, ending a run of four successive blanks.

Though their winless run has now been extended to eight league games, assistant manager Tom Jeffes was happy with a point against Brock.

Teenager Josh Stream, left, gives chase against Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshall

It was certainly a big improvement on the previous weekend’s drab 0-0 home stalemate with Christchurch.

Jeffes, in charge of the side in the absence of Covid-stricken boss Tom Grice, said: ‘It was a really good performance.

‘A few of the lads had let themselves and the club down against Christchurch, and we were quite open and honest about that with them.

‘But as poor as we were against Christchurch, we were as good against Brockenhurst.’

Vinnie McGee in action for US Portsmouth against Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshal

Simon Woods had two efforts cleared off the line in the first half before USP went in level thanks to Quirke’s equaliser.

Jeffes, on the touchline due to serving the last game of a two-match suspension, added: ‘We rode our luck a bit in the second half. They hit the post, they had some other good chances, and Dylan (Kramer) made a good save to keep us in it.

‘We played three at the back for the first time in a while, and it was quite effective. The advantage of having young lads in the squad is they’re not set in their ways.’

Teenagers Josh Stream and Owen Scammell were two of the back three alongside Ryan Smart, who normally operates in central midfield. Vinny Magee and Dan Sibley were given the ‘thankless task’ of operating on the flanks.

Ryan Smart (US Portsmouth, left) battles for possession against Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshall
Assistant manager Tom Jeffes on the sidelines as US Portsmouth draw with Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshall
Dan Sibley (US Portsmouth, left) in action against Brockenhurst. Picture: Neil Marshall