US Portsmouth’s two teams kept apart in Portsmouth Senior Cup quarter final draw

An all-US Portsmouth final is still on the cards after the draw for the quarter finals of the Portsmouth Senior Cup kept the two clubs apart.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 12:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 2:47 pm
Harry Birmingham, left, in action for AFC Portchester during their 2018 Portsmouth Senior Cup final loss to Hawks. Pic: Chris Moorhouse

The Wessex Division 1 club were one of three who entered both their first and reserve teams in this season’s competition - Baffins Milton Rovers and Hayling United the others.

Both US teams have been handed home ties in the last eight - Glenn Turnbull’s 1st XI against Horndean and Lee Mould’s reserves against Fareham Town.

Elsewhere, the lowest ranked club still in the tournament - Hampshire Premier League second tier outfit Denmead - have been drawn at home to holders Moneyfields or Gosport Borough.

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Moneys’ trip to Privett Park earlier this week - to face what would have been Gosport’s second team - was postponed due to bad weather.

The final PSC quarter final saw Paulsgrove drawn out first against Baffins Milton, but the tie will be reversed due to the former’s lack of floodlights and played at the Wessex League club’s PMC Stadium ground instead.

‘We were secretly hoping our two teams would be drawn against each other,’ said Turnbull.

‘We won’t change what we’ve done so far. When we play Horndean we’ll have four or five younger lads involved, and I’m sure Birmy (Deans boss Michael Birmingham) will have the same.

‘I’m looking forward to it. I always like spending time with Mike and it’ll be nice for Harry Birmingham (US defender) to go up against his dad’s team!’

Birmingham is aiming for his second PSC final in three seasons, after appearing for AFC Portchester in their Fratton Park loss to Hawks in 2018.

USP’s reserves also met Fareham in last season’s Portsmouth Senior Cup, only losing on penalties after a 4-4 draw.

Both US teams are currently going well - the first team are second in the Wessex Division 1, targeting the club’s first ever promotion to the top flight, and the reserves are top of the Wyvern Combination East Division.

Turnbull knows there could be a double end-of-season promotion party at the Victory Stadium.

‘We were asked if we wanted to go in the Wyvern Premier this season,’ he revealed, ‘but we said ‘no’ for financial reasons.

‘But if the first team go up and we attract a few more sponsors then certainly we’d look at the reserves going into the Wyvern Premier if we could.

‘I used to run the reserves at Moneyfields and it was nice for the players to go to proper grounds like Dorchester, Wimborne and Gosport.

‘That was much better than going to some park fields which you can get in the Wyvern East and West divisions.’

Weather permitting, US return to Wessex action this weekend at home to New Milton having had a fortnight off to stew over their 4-2 home loss to fellow high-flyers Downton last time out.

‘This game will be a measure of our players and how they react,’ Turnbull said.

‘Sometimes you can carry three players having an off day if the others are on form. But against Downton nine of them had an absolute stinker and only two came out with any credit.’

Portsmouth FA Women’s Cup semi-final draw (Jan 26): Moneyfields Ladies v Gosport Falcons Ladies, AFC Bedhampton Village Ladies v Portsmouth Women.

Portsmouth FA Victory Cup semi-final draw (Jan 26): CJ Glass v Village Home, Wicor Mill v AFC Portchester Sunday.