Portsmouth miss chance to go top of the Hampshire Hockey League

Portsmouth 2nds' Alex Williams against Southampton
Portsmouth 2nds' Alex Williams against Southampton
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PORTSMOUTH missed the chance to take over top spot in Division 1 of the Hampshire Hockey League.

They travelled to Southampton aiming for a fourth win in five matches that would have taken them above leaders Aldershot & Farnham, whose game at Wimborne was postponed.

Alfie Hall of Portsmouth 2nds against Southampton 2nds

Alfie Hall of Portsmouth 2nds against Southampton 2nds

But instead they had to come from 0-2 down to claim a 2-2 draw which at least maintained their unbeaten record.

Southampton netted a short corner early on, after having a previous attempt denied by the solid defence of post man Jez Bulled, and added a second soon after.

Portsmouth hit back, mounting their own repetitive attacks and were rewarded after a Freddie Steele cross was smashed home on the volley by Rob Hunt. 

The high Portsmouth attacking line had the opportunity to level before half-time as Dan Marsh intercepted a wayward Southampton pass. 

Adam Nicholls of Portsmouth 2nds against Southampton 2nds at Furze Lane.

Adam Nicholls of Portsmouth 2nds against Southampton 2nds at Furze Lane.

Opting to unsuccessfully go it alone, he failed to see Will Hartley on his left hand side unmarked and staring at an unoccupied goal. 

Into the second period and the umpires asserted themselves on the game with a flurry of cards for both sides. 

Portsmouth levelled when, from a short corner, Niall Gray’s across goal slap was deflected into their own net by a home defender. 

Man of the match was awarded to Jez Bulled. 

Portsmouth 2nds' Ben Hayward

Portsmouth 2nds' Ben Hayward

In went and windy conditions at Furze Lane, Portsmouth 2nds also fell 0-2 down in the first against their Southampton counterparts.

They couldn’t produce a recovery like their 1sts, though, and ended up losing - their fourth loss in five Hampshire Division 3 matches.

Southampton continued to move the Portsmouth back line around in the second half, but this time there were some fantastic tackles from Jacob Jolliffe, Ben Hayward, Jon Farmer and Alex Williams.

This led to a rare Portsmouth counter attack which was started by Adam Nicholls, carried on by Dan Brettell and finishing off with a Dan Hargreaves tap in.

Invigorated, Jacob Jolliffe made a wonder run to the halfway line from his own interception in the D but Jon Farmer continued to play a dangerous game with the umpires with some strong tackles.

Once the pace slowed, third-placed Southampton added two further goals.

Man of the match was awarded to hard-working midfielder Hargreaves.

Division 3 leaders US Portsmouth’s run of four straight wins was ended with a 1-1 draw against Fleet & Ewshot.

US had netted six goals in each of their first four league matches, but Elliott Ferrett was their only marksman at Fleet.

In the same division, Gosport hammered Haslemere 8-1.

Portsmouth 3rds conceded three early goals en route to a 7-3 home caning by Gillingham.

Portsmouth had to play the last five minutes of the first half with 10 players after an injury to captain Alex Love, and at the interval trailed 5-0. 

At half time the score was 5-0 to Gillingham. 

The hosts suffered another injury early in the second half, Dan Snelling receiving a blow to the head, but when he returned he promptly scored Portsmouth’s first goal.

Gillingham restored their five-goal lead but Tristan Barnes showed great composure to take the ball round a couple of defenders before slotting home for 6-2.

Portsmouth’s scoring was completed by Paul Barnes, and the man of the match award was jointly won by Jack Boswell and Adam Harley.

It was a different story when Portsmouth 5ths met Gillingham 3rds, Will Duffy hitting four goals in a 7-0 success.

Jaime Moore scored the only goal of the first half, with John Arnell netting twice in the second period.