US Portsmouth survive first half red card to maintain 100 per cent Wessex League home record

US Portsmouth survived a first half red card to maintain the Wessex League’s only remaining 100 per cent home record.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 2:49 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th November 2019, 4:16 pm
James Franklyn in action during the 5-3 Wessex win against Romsey. Picture: Ian Hargreaves.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men around the 25-minute mark of the Victory Stadium encounter with Romsey when Harry Birmingham was sent off for a tackle from behind.

Undaunted, US still recorded a stunning 5-3 win to remain a point behind Wessex Division 1 leaders Downton and Hythe & Dibden.

Indeed, when the top two have three points taken off when Pewsey Vale’s record is expunged, US will take over pole position.

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US Portsmouth's top scorer James Franklyn on the ball against Romsey. Picture by Ian Hargreaves.

US have now won all six home league games in 2019/20 - belting 26 goals in the process.

‘We were excellent,’ purred boss Glenn Turnbull. ‘Even though we played 65 minutes with 10 men we could have had a lot more goals.

‘The camaraderie of the lads is great - they were all out together on Saturday night celebrating Dan Sibley’s birthday, it’s brilliant to see.’

Turnbull brought striker Tom Jeffes back into a three-man central defensive unit following Birrmingham’s red card, and deployed Dec Seiden up front on his own in a 5-3-1 formation.

US Portsmouth celebrate one of their five goals against Romsey. Picture by Ian Hargreaves

It was only 1-0 at half-time - Tom Cain netting with a delightful chip - but the second half brought a flurry of goals.

Seiden converted a penalty - after he had been fouled - and Elliott Turnbull made it 3-0 after the Romsey keeper couldn’t hold a James Franklyn shot.

After the visitors had pulled one back, dual-signed Moneyfields striker George Root headed in a fourth before a quick Geoff Dunn double made it 4-3.

Franklyn calmed the nerves, though, with his 13th goal from 16 league and cup starts this term.

US Portsmouth v Romsey. Picture by Ian Hargreaves

‘I imagine it was a great game to watch,’ said Turnbull. ‘But it wasn’t very good for the heart!’

US handed a debut to Harry Bedford, signed in the week from divisional 1 rivals Petersfield Town.

Following next weekend’s trip to face East Cowes Victoria, US then welcome title rivals Downton to Portsmouth on December 7.

A Matt Low goal earned Petersfield a 1-1 draw at AFC Fawley.

Dec Seiden, right, takes on Romsey's Craig Bryant. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

US Portsmouth’s home Wessex League record 2019/20

Totton & Eling W 4-1 (Jeffes 2, Ripiner, Sibley)

Fawley W 5-2 (Sibley 2, Cass, Franklyn, Birmingham)

Folland W 5-0 (Franklyn, Ripiner, Turnbull, Cain, Jeffes)

Whitchurch W 4-2 (Seiden, Ripiner, Franklyn, Chandler)

Bemerton W 3-0 (Franklyn 3)

Romsey W 5-3 (Cain, Seiden, Root, Turnbull, Franklyn)