Lacklustre Portsmouth surrender unbeaten South Central record – men’s league round-up
Portsmouth 1sts surrendered their South Central Division 1 South unbeaten record after letting a half-time lead slip at Salisbury.
The visitors were incredibly slow out of the starting blocks, with loose first touches and wayward passes letting a beatable Salisbury side open the scoring.
Stu Avery levelled with a fine short corner effort and a superb solo effort from the same player, running from the halfway line, put Portsmouth ahead at the interval.
A lack of battle and the winning mentality resulted in a lacklustre second half, capped by Salisbury taking the points courtesy of two weak goals.
Portsmouth 2nds handed debuts to James Moore, Chris Palmer and Freddie Steele in their South Central Division 3 South clash with Salisbury 2nds.
A quick passing move between Palmer and Sam Hargreaves set up Adam Nicholls on the back post to open the scoring.
Palmer thought he had doubled the advantage, but celebrations were shortlived as the umpires overturned the goal - Caleb Rowlands’s run into the D being deemed premature.
Man of the match Hargreaves opened the scoring in the second half, twisting and turning in the D before squeezing a shot in at the near post.
Sebastian Martin added a third and a driving run from Nicholls along the Salisbury baseline set up Hargreaves for his second and Portsmouth’s fourth.
Portsmouth 3rds lifted themselves off the foot of the South Central Division 5 South table with a 2-1 victory at Southampton University 4ths.
With a number of players struck down by illness, they travelled along the M27 with a bare 11.
The students took the lead when a strong pass into the D took a faint deflection - so faint that Matthew Forrest, returning to action between the posts, actually left the ball and allowed it to roll unchallenged into the net believing it hadn't been touched at all.
Undeterred, Portsmouth heads didn't drop and with half-time approaching levelled from a short corner as a miscued injection from David Johns rolled kindly to Alfie Hall, who had a mishit of his own to bobble the ball through the defensive lines.
The winner arrived in the second half when Matty Hayward set up Hall for a shot that was pushed side - only for man of the match Huan Xie to contort himself like an octopus and convert the rebound.
Goalkeeper Jack Hargreaves was man of the match as Portsmouth 4ths drew 2-2 against United Services Portsmouth 2nds in South Central Division 1 Solent.
Games between the sides have been close over the last few years and this was no different.
Portsmouth had the better of the first half and led 2-1 with goals from Bryan Hodges and Alan Duffy.
USP’s leveller came five minutes from the end of the game.
Portsmouth 5ths started their South Central Division 2 Solent clash with Havant 7ths with only 10 players - but quickly found themselves 2-0 ahead.
An own goal put them ahead before a beautiful individual run and finish from top scorer Dan Snelling.
Two more goals arrived in the second half - a nice deflection from Pete Wingate and another own goal - as the 5ths kept their first clean sheet of the season.
Wes Pellow was voted man of the match for being ‘a Rolls Royce of a player.’
Portsmouth Vets had to borrow a couple of players from hosts Woking O40s to make up their numbers in a Wessex League fixture.
High-flying Woking came out of the blocks at full speed and were 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Karl Young fired home a screamer from the top of the D to get Portsmouth off the mark, but they trailed 4-1 at the interval.
The visitors hit back in the second half, Tim Schofield’s shot leading to a goal from one of the players borrowed, and further pressure from a rejuvenated Portsmouth team resulted in Schofield deftly deflecting a long ball from Young into the net.
Colin Metcalfe, Andy Thorne and Mark Wilson worked tirelessly at the back and limited Woking to just two shots in the second half.