DEPLETED City of Portsmouth just came up short as they lost 6-3 to Trojans in their first home match of the season in Hampshire League division one.
Due to a late arrival, and a lack of substitutes, City had to begin the match with 10 players.
But they made a fantastic start, with Stuart Avery deflecting a great pass into the roof of the net for 1-0.
The hosts soon had 11 players on the pitch, but Trojans scored an equaliser.
City rallied again with Stuart Avery netting for 2-1.
Trojans were also looking dangerous going forward, though, and they struck three times to take charge.
City responded with Ivan Boswell forcing the ball home to reduce the deficit to 4-3 at half-time.
Avery had to come off with a hamstring injury early in the second period and City were down to 10 men.
Inevitably tiredness kicked in as Trojans went on to score two second-half goals to secure a 6-3 win.
The final score wasn’t a fair reflection of the way City played or the effort put in.
Luke Parsons took the man-of-the-match award for his hard work.
Captain Rob Boswell said: ‘It was a tough start with no subs, and players playing out of position, but I cannot fault the commitment.’
The men’s second team lost 5-3 to Trojans thirds in their first Hampshire League division three match of the season.
Adam Nicholls, captain Alan Ball and Sam Murray netted for City.
Skipper Ball said: ‘Despite the result I’m happy we competed in this new division and were never totally outclassed.’
The men’s thirds lost 5-0 to Basingstoke fourths in division six and the City fourths lost 5-0 to Aldershot & Farnham.
City of Portsmouth Ladies beat Fareham seconds 3-2 to stay top of Hampshire League division two.
Ellie McMaster, captain Katie Spooner and Clair Hamson struck the goals for City.
Player of the match was awarded to Emily Butcher for her determined defending.
Outfield players Lauren Stewart and Becky Clay shared goalkeeping duties.
Michelle Hughes scored twice for City ladies seconds but they lost 8-2 to Hamble.
– david johns