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Tuesday 17th January 2012 ko 7.45

Wessex League Division One

AFC PORTCHESTER 5 (Woods 30 38 61 Pottage 70p Boam 89)

UNITED SERVICES PORTSMOUTH 0 Cook sent off 90 (foul & abusive language)

Att 92

Entry £4

Programme £1

To clock up a serious number of grounds its important for a hopper to have a circle of support. This evening’s game was a case in point. The original idea was to leave work in Banbury at 5 and head north to Stafford Town FC. Stafford resident Chris Bedford sent me a text telling me firstly that it was -5C and later that the game was off. A phone call from Fareham based Splodge told me to head to Portchester, ” Don’t worry, they’re the other side of the creek, it’ll be on!” He was right, on a night when many games were postponed and others abandoned, including poor Splodge’s at Oxford City.

Portchester is a suburb of Fareham, about 6 miles from Portsmouth. Visible from the Wicor Recreation Ground are the Spinnaker Tower and Portchester Castle, a fine example of a Roman Fort, now enclosed by a Norman Keep. The name Portchester is of partly Roman origin, from Latin portus (a harbour) and Old English ceaster (Roman town or castle).

There’s enough about the ground to keep the hopper happy, with a the quirky signpost, and the clubhouse sporting a pool table in club colours. They’re a friendly bunch too, showing me where the teamsheets are pinned up. It gave the impression of a club going places. That impression was confirmed as soon as the game kicked off.

It wasn’t that US Portsmouth were bad, its just that Portchester were irresistable. Tormentor-in-chief was Simon Woods whose superbly taken hat trick won the game at a canter against a team who’s major flaw was a poor offside trap. Kev Pottage scored a penalty after being tripped by Bob Booker right on the edge of the box. The coup-de-grace was Blu Boam’s winner, deftly measured shot from 18 yards, with just enough elevation to clear the keeper.

As if to add insult to injury there was a red card to follow although it was completely self inflicted. Substitute Jamie Cook went in studs up, and was called over to be booked, but instead decided to call referee Steve Wade a “F*****g idiot” A quick change of cards and off he went, repeating the insult two more times!!!

It was a disappointing end to a highly entertaining game, on a night when just a few hours earlier I fully expected to be glumly sat at home watching a televised game. As it was I got a game, and some excellent news on the Welsh hop-up.