Portsmouth Senior Cup | 31 October 2017 | The Blanchard Wells Stadium | Scorer(s): Baldacchino(3), Bye, Noakes, Todd(2)

There wasn’t much to separate the teams in the opening proceedings with neither side being able to really test the opposing keeper.

Just after the ten minute mark, a weak back-pass by the Clanfield defence gifted striker Andy Todd the opportunity to run through one-on-one with the keeper, but the forward couldn’t quite find the required finish.

A few moments later and another chance presented itself for the Royals. Reece Tuppen latched onto an Alex Baldacchino flick on but unfortunately for the winger, his shot was well wide.

Garry Moody almost put Portchester in front in the 23rd minute when the ball bounced kindly for the defender in the area from a long thrown in by Joe Noakes. Despite Moody’s best efforts, his shot was deflected for a corner.

Skipper Joe Bye took the initiative five minutes later when he took a quick free-kick with Tuppen before releasing a venomous strike at Love in the Clanfield goal but his hot was well saved.

Minutes later and Portchester had the lead. Striker Andy Todd won a free-kick on the edge of the area and his strike partner Baldacchino stepped up and whipped the ball powerfully into the top corner. An unstoppable shot from the forward.

The Royals almost doubled the lead immediately when winger Joe Noakes powerfully drove into the box before firing a shot at goal. Thankfully for the Clanfield defence, his shot was deflected out of play for a corner.

In the 39th minute, the visitors had their first clear cut chance of the game. A ball was whipped into winger Jamie Eyre but he was unable to direct his delicate effort passed Cameron Scott.

Portchester then went straight up the other end and could and probably should have doubled their lead.

Reece Tuppen raced down the right-hand side before whipping a stunning free-kick to Andy Todd on the edge of the six-yard box. Unfortunately for the striker, his lunged attempt flew well over the bar.

Half Time: Clanfield 0 AFC Portchester 1

The visitors came out after the break the liveliest. Some good work out wide was rewarded when the square ball found Mike Prew on the edge of the area but his shot was saved well by Cameron Scott.

Second later though, and Portchester had doubled their lead.

Alex Baldacchino pressed the Clanfield defence into making an error which left the striker with an unmissable chance as he tapped into an empty net.

Almost immediately the Royals were three goals to the good thanks to Joe Noakes. The midfielder stole the ball from the feet of Jim Peters and charged into the box before hitting a thunderous strike into the very top corner of the goal.

Andy Todd could had added further to the score line in the 53rd minute when he had two attempts denied by Love. The first being a delicate effort with his right front from a cross from Tuppen, and the second a powerful header from a corner.

In the 62nd minute, another free-kick on the edge of the area for Portchester and Baldacchino. This time however, the forward was unable to replicate his earlier effort – instead firing well over the bar.

The Royals continued to bombard the Clanfield goal and had a shot cleared off the line in the 65th minute. Rob Evans fired the ball into the box from a corner and the ball fell very kindly for Harry Birmingham but the defender couldn’t force it home.

On 73 minutes, Baldacchino sealed his hattrick. Joe Noakes’ shot from the left hand side hit off the post and the rebound fell perfectly for the forward to tap home his third and Portchester’s fourth of the evening.

Straight from kick-off the Royals made it five. Joe Noakes was again involved as his cross found the head of Andy Todd who was stood on the penalty and the striker diverted his header into the bottom corner.

As the flood gates now well and truly opened, skipper Joe Bye got in on the act with an absolute peach to make it six.

Another short corner routine handed Bye the opportunity from 25 yards out to strike the ball into the top corner with his left foot.

The Royals continued to pile on the pressure in the closing minutes and rounded off the impressive performance with another goal from Andy Todd.

Joe Bye applied some intense pressure on the Clanfield defence and the skipper dispossessed the visitors before teeing the ball up for Portchester’s number ten to slide home his second the game from the edge of the area.

Full Time: Clanfield 0 AFC Portchester 7


Clanfield: Love, Peters, Hazell, Gurney, Kirby, Cole, Prew, Amos ©, Potter, Ferguson, Eyre
Subs: Naylor, Rowland, Maidens, Milne

Royals: Scott, Hudson, Wells, Evans, Birmingham, Moody, Tuppen, Bye ©, Baldacchino, Todd, Noakes
Subs: Noice, Warren, Searle, Hoolihan

Report by George Baker


AFC Portchester
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