Charlie Cooper proved to be an inspired half time substitution after his double took Portchester to victory at bottom club Andover New Street.

The two sides were level at half time before manager Mick Catlin introduced the midfielder at the start of the second period - a move which took only took two minutes to pay off.

It was a fairly even game for a large part of the afternoon but the visitors then notched two further goals in the final nine minutes to give the scoreline a more emphatic look to it.

On a bitterly cold afternoon the visiting Royals fans only had to wait five minutes to be warmed up by the joy of taking an early lead.

Mike Turvey got past his marker on the right hand side of the penalty area and then drew the keeper off his line before hitting the ball across the goalmouth. Liam Kimber was on hand to tuck the ball into the net from close range.

Andover nearly sprung a surprise two minutes later when Shane Lock hit a shot from distance which had keeper Charlie Searle scrambling to try and reach it but fortunately for him the ball dropped wide of the goal.

Kylen Lewis caused the visiting defence problems at times and he muscled his way clear to chase a through ball which Charlie Searle cleared after racing off his line quickly.
After Joel Jackson was hacked down on the edge of the box, Steve Ramsey’s free kick only went inches wide of the target, and at the other end both Matt Scott and Lewis jumped for a corner to the far post but between them they knocked the ball wide.

The home side drew level on 33 minutes when a ball over the top of the Portchester defence sent Lewis racing clear and he lifted the ball over Charlie Searle, who could only watch it drop into the net behind him.

Cooper had an instant impact on proceedings just two minute after coming on as a half time replacement for Jackson.

He picked up a loose ball 35 yards from goal and lifted his shot past keeper George Baxter and it dropped into the net.

Again the home side almost found an instant leveller when the ball was crossed in from the left and Matthew Marriner rattled the crossbar with his header before Charlie Searle smothered the ball on his own line.

Midway through the half the home side were finding space down both the left and right wings and one ball to the left side of the penalty found Lock in space but he could only put his shot into the side netting.

The visitors were looking the more likely side to score as the game entered its final quarter and Baxter had to scoop Jack Breed’s shot from 10 yards out wide of the goal on 72 minutes.

Three minutes later Baxter came to the rescue for the home side again when a ball down the middle put Kimber clear into the box and the home stopper dived to turn his shot away from goal.

Portchester got their third goal with nine minutes remaining when Cooper caught left back Kieran Le Brun In possession. Cooper then took the ball on into the penalty area before dispatching a low shot past Baxter.

The visitors got their fourth goal two minutes later after substitute Bobby Scott fizzed a shot towards goal which Baxter did well to push away.

The ball fell to Ramsey 25 yards out and he hit his first time shot straight back past the keeper and into the net.


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

+44 (0) 1329 233833