Wessex Premier League | 21 October 2017 | The Blanchard Wells Stadium | Scorers: Moody, Ramsey

AFC Portchester crashed out of the FA Vase following a disappointing 2-3 loss to Cullompton Rangers.

The Royals found themselves three-nil down by the 80th minute, and despite two late efforts from Steve Ramsey and Garry Moody to turn the tie on its head - it was too little, too late for Ian Saunders’ men.

The Royals came into this fixture on the back of 12-2 win over Cowes Sport and were looking to build upon that against the South West Peninsula Premier side.

After a scrappy opening five minutes, the first chance of the game fell to Cullompton Rangers, a freekick in a dangerous position was shot wide by midfielder Alex Greening in the 8th minute

Both teams were struggling to adapt to the windy conditions with the ball bobbling around in the centre of the park.

But after 17 minutes the lively Greening seemed to use the wind to his advantage as he struck a half volley from 30 yards his effort looped over the stranded Lewis Noice in the Portchester goal.

That goal seemed to spark the Royals into life and five minutes after going behind they nearly levelled. Rob Evans whipped a ball across the front of the box to find Sam Hoolihan, but the winger couldn’t quite turn it goal bound.

Portchester continued to apply pressure on the Rangers goal. When Steve Ramsey had a 25-yard strike tipped acrobatically over the bar by Nathan Whateley.

Ramsey looked to take matters into his own hands once more on 35 minutes as he ran at the heart of the Rangers defence before teeing up Evans who’s low-driven shot clipped the post on its way wide.

The Royals were unlucky not to be level four minutes later when Warren’s header was saved by Whateley and the ball couldn’t be forced home from the resulting goal mouth scramble.

Despite being up against it since taking the lead the away side had a chance to make it 2-0 just before half-time. Marcus Fanson was put through down the right-hand side but his shot was straight at Noice.

A scrappy first half came to end with Portchester behind.

Half Time:  AFC Portchester 0-1 Cullompton Rangers

The visitors came out the blocks at start of second half the fastest and were immediately rewarded.

A long ball over the Portchester defence allowed Fanson to break down the right and cut the ball for Tom Beddow to tap home, putting Rangers 2-0 up and firmly in control of the tie.

Portchester continued to press to find a way back into the game. On 56 minutes Bobby Scott’s free kick was saved and then scooped up by Whateley at the second attempt.

Andy Todd and Reece Tuppen were brought on to replace Alex Baldacchino and Sam Hoolihan with 25 minutes of the game in attempt to get the Royals back in the game.

The adverse weather conditions continued to break up play, with many lofted balls from both teams being held up in the air.

But the game was wrapped up in 78th Minute when the ever-lively Marcus Fanson was played through on goal by Alex Greening and the attacker raced through to slot the ball comfortably passed Noice to make it 0-3.

Despite being 3 goals down, Portchester sparked into life once more and pulled two goals back.

Steve Ramsey’s piledriver from the edge of the box on 82 minutes and Garry Moody’s tap in from a goal mouth scramble on 87 minutes made the score to 3-2.

But the late flurry of goals ultimately wasn’t enough and Portchester bow out of the FA Vase in the first round.

We wish Cullompton Rangers all the best for the remainder of the tournament.

Full Time: AFC Portchester 2-3 Cullompton Rangers.

Manager Ian Saunders spoke of his disappointment at an early exit after the game,

“100%, bang on, we weren’t at it today. After the highs of mid-week where we played some good football, today we were nowhere near it at all. The weather plays a part but the opposition seemed to deal with it all right. They were three goals up after 80 minutes and that’s disappointing from our boys. We can’t be at it every week I suppose but we need to make sure that in the big games we are a bit better, so very disappointed today.”

“Human nature would say that we were complacent after Tuesday’s result and I’ve already thrown that at them in the dressing room after scoring twelve. We needed a goal today earlier. I don’t think it was that though, and I wish I knew what it was so I could put it in a bottle and sell it so other managers can have the same as me. We’re disappointed, we’ve had a bad day at the office; front to back and back to front. No player comes out of that with a pat on the back really. We’ve got to re-group really quickly because we’ve got a huge league game away on Tuesday against Lymington Town.”

“We need to bounce back straight away. Certainly, from a front runner’s perspective, the front two were on fire on Tuesday getting all the goals for us. But we couldn’t seem to get them on the ball today. There wasn’t a great deal of quality to them but when it did reach them it bounced off them a little bit. I fancy us to get a goal or two so if we can get them back firing we’ll be in good stead. It’s just a shame we didn’t score earlier today and set it up a little bit more. I’ve got no complaints, they were better than us and that says a lot. So, I’m bitterly disappointed to say the least.”


Royals: Noice, Evans, Moody, Ramsey, Warren, Kirby, Searle, Bye ©, B. Scott, Baldacchino, Hoolihan. 
Subs: Birmingham, Todd, Tuppen, Wells, C.Scott.

Cullompton Rangers: Whateley, Orchard, Reed, Langabeer, Beech ©, Hill, Fanson, Greening, Angell, Beddow, Baily. 
Subs: Kelly, Riggs, M. Scott.

By Adam Hillier.


AFC Portchester
The Crest Finance Stadium
Wicor Recreation Ground
Cranleigh Road
PO16 9DP

+44 (0) 1329 233833