Portsmouth pay a heavy price after set forfeit

PORTSMOUTH CITY's sloppy start to the National League division two south season continued with a straight sets loss to City of Bristol.

Friday, 14th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:10 pm
Leandros Tsikras. Picture: Allan Hutchings (133265-749)

It took the visitors just 1hr 10mins to dispose off their hosts in a match that was held at Petersfield’s Bedales School.

Things did not go to plan for Nasser Ssemuwemba’s team right from the start.

They were forced to forfeit the first set 25-0 after part of their team were held up in traffic while on their way to the match venue.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This is the second time in three encounters that the city team have suffered a match penalty.

Ssemuwemba said: ‘We’ve so far been unlucky at home.

‘We’ve played three and so far only been able to compete fairly in one match, which was away to Essex.

‘The season opening forfeit to New Forest was out of our hands.

‘All indications are that it’s going to be a hard season unless we stop gifting our rivals with easy points. It’s quite frustrating.

‘But we need to become better organised for our home matches.

‘We need to turn our home venues into fortresses, other than just places were our opponents come to help themselves to cheap points.’

While Portsmouth struggled to get into the match, their opponents were flourishing and doubled their advantage 25-19.

Despite efforts from playmaker Leandros Tsikras and powerful outside-hitter Damian Roberts, Bristol sealed it 25-19.

Universal player Adamantios Xanthoudidis said: ‘It was always going to be difficult to compete with a team that has had more than half an hour of proper warm up and a set victory already under their belts.

‘No sooner had we seemed to get into the game than I realised the match was finished.’

Portsmouth’s only consolation was the form of two of their new debutants.

Former Egyptian under-16 national team player Akram Mahmoud Samir El Saka and talented South Downs College student Daniel Batchelor battled it out for the man of the match accolade.

At the end, it was Samir who was named MVP.

Portsmouth go to London Aces on Saturday, October 22 at the Lambeth Academy (12.30pm).