A CRUEL late blow sent City of Portsmouth to a 2-1 defeat against Haslemere seconds in Hampshire League division one.
City were in a confident mood following a strong victory in their previous match.
But they fell to a last-gasp winner from their well-drilled opponents.
The first half was a cagey affair with both teams struggling to create chances.
And when City did get shots on goal they found the Haslemere keeper in good form.
Several short corner routines were also thwarted by a stubborn defence.
But City finally opened the scoring when Steve Dudley burst into the D and crossed for George Podd to sweep in.
This spurred Haslemere on and a couple of good saves by Ed Smyth kept them at bay before they found the equaliser with a well-worked move.
The second half was far more open and end to end.
City were again denied by the visiting keeper who saved shots by Stuart Avery and Daniel Brettell.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until Haslemere forced a last-minute short corner and cruelly punished City with a deflected finish to win.
City seconds recorded a dominant 4-0 away win against Aldershot & Farnham second team in division three.
Adam Nicholls scored the first two goals and Jim Clarke got the third.
Man-of-the-match Nicholls then completed his hat-trick.
Dave Thomas and George Berks scored but City third team lost 3-2 to Hamble thirds in division six.
Portsmouth’s fourth team, known was the stars, were beaten 8-2 by Hamble fourths.
City of Portsmouth ladies second team lost 6-1 to Hamble seconds in Hampshire League division five.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic as City scored with a superb goal by Jemma Gard.
The Portsmouth side had an incredible work-rate, fending off numerous attacks from Hamble.
However, they couldn’t keep it going for the whole match.
City captain Meri Westlake praised the players and feels the signs are good for the future of the team.
She said: ‘The final score doesn’t reflect the quality and improvement of play.
‘We are starting to work more as a team now and our newer players are increasing in confidence by the match.’
Player of the match was jointly awarded to Clemmie Bridges, Lindsay McCorkell and Amy Moore.
– DAVID JOHNS