Portsmouth 3rds end losing streak with five-goal romp – men’s South Central League round-up

Portsmouth men’s 3rds romped to only a second South Central League Division 5 South victory in eight games.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 10:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:00 pm
Portsmouth 3rd (purple) v Andover 3rds, Admiral Lord Nelson School. Picture: Alex Shute

They ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-0 success against fellow strugglers Andover 3rds at Admiral Lord Nelson School.

Playing with pace and enthusiasm, Portsmouth piled on early pressure but failed to make a breakthrough. This allowed Andover back into the game, and the script started to look very familiar when the visitors punished a soft loss of possession and hit Portsmouth on the counter attack.

Though the umpire initially signalled a goal, after a short discussion the effort was ruled out - and Portsmouth never looked back.

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The first goal arrived when a well executed short corner routine saw Chris Stone’s attempt take a slight deflection.

Portsmouth kept their foot on the gas, and forward Harry Hellyer used his electrifying pace to beat the defence and unleash a lethal reverse stick shot into the net.

Captain David Johns made it 3-0 at half-time after pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the Andover D - Stone only narrowly avoiding stopping a fierce shot with his face.

With expert marshalling from Simon Payne at centre-back, Portsmouth tightened up as a team defensively after the break.

The final two goals came late on - Stone netting a rebound after Craig Parkinson’s shot was saved and Dylan Houghton finishing off a counter attack.

Payne was voted his side’s man of the match as Portsmouth kept their first clean sheet of the season.

*Portsmouth 1sts suffered a 1-0 South Central Division 1 South loss at Chichester.

‘The result does not reflect the performance nor the effort that Portsmouth put in,’ remarked a team spokesman. ‘Every single player deserved more from the game with the effort they put in.’

With a depleted squad due to injuries, Portsmouth started strongly. Will Hartley was denied by a brilliant save after a fine weaving run from Owen Barnes, a staple of his play throughout the game.

Hartley turned provider for the second chance as he found space in the D following a counter attack, but Tristan Barnes was denied by good defending.

Portsmouth came out of the blocks in the second half looking to impose themselves even more on the game.

The industrious midfield trio of Chris Butler, Niall Gray and man of the match Chris Bollam controlled the tempo and helped to create a number of chances and short corners.

But Chichester took the lead when an uncharacteristic lapse at the back saw the ball given to a home attacker who rounded keeper Jack Hargreaves.

*Two first half goals saw Portsmouth 2nds claim the South Central Division 3 South points against Hamble 2nds.

The intent was clear from the pushback as Jamie Moore saw his cross deflected in by a Hamble defender within the first two minutes.

Seb Martin was shown a green card for a strong challenge but, when back to full strength, a flowing pitch-length attack saw Will Duffy ending his goal drought.

The hosts maintained their clean sheet in the second half helped by some stalwart defending from man of the match Ed Smyth.

*Alex Jarrett struck twice in the second half as Portsmouth 5ths defeated Chichester 6ths 4-1 in Division 2 Solent.

Captain George Gale and Dan Snelling put their side in control before loose passes and poor communication allowed Chichester back in the game.

The Sussex side looked dangerous on the counter, with their youthful players using their pace effectively and making Portsmouth’s ‘usually mobile team look like dump trucks reversing with no tyres at times’ according to a spokesman.

An aerial from Chichester led to a series of errors, resulting in George Hopkins being nutmegged.

Gale, off the pitch at the time, ‘remained calm and only used one profanity when telling his team exactly what he thought of the comedy of errors he had witnessed.’

It was a turning point as, within minutes, Jarrett restored the two-goal lead.

Gale and Liam Andrews both conspired to miss from close range before Jarrett, on the reverse, grabbed his second.