It took 12 matches, or 60 days, or over 1,000 minutes of match time to achieve.

But when that winning feeling returned on Tuesday night for AFC Portchester, the sheer relief of victory was felt both on the pitch and in the stands in equal measure.

For the first time since January 5’s trip to Andover New Street, the Royals recorded a win in any competition - in this case the Wessex Premier Division.

The release of pure elation when Mike Turvey netted his winner as the game ticked into injury time could be heard all around the Crest Finance Stadium.

The fact it came on a miserable wet night and in a game which could so easily have gone the other way won’t matter one bit to Portchester - they had won a match at long last and shown some fight and pride which had been lacking in some of their recent performances.

The bad weather helped the home side early on as it prevented Hamble from taking the lead.

On nine minutes a low cross in from the right saw Nathan Lynch slide his shot towards goal but water laying in the goalmouth slowed the ball down and it trickled against the post.

On 16 minutes the ball was played into the box from the left and both Ryan Wilkins and Lynch tried to dig out shots but Lynch got no power behind his effort and it rolled straight to keeper Charlie Searle.

A cross into the near post from the left had to be gathered up on his own line by Charlie Searle before at the other end of the pitch, Steve Ramsey had Portchester’s first chance of the game but he put his effort over the target.

On 33 minutes a slip by Efu Kazadi gave the ball away to Lynch, who ran into the box with it before hitting a shot which slid across goal but went just inches wide of the far post.

Five minutes before half time the ball was worked forward down the middle to Turvey who hit a shot from 25 yards out but keeper Rory Anderson made an easy save.

Portchester made the best possible start to the second half when they took the lead after just a minute of play. The ball was slipped through the middle to Joel Jackson, who took it into the box before hooking his shot over the advancing keeper and into the roof of the net.

The visitors continued to pose a threat to the home goal and on 54 minutes a quick throw in from the right found Lynch at the near post and his free header had to be pushed away by Charlie Searle.

Charlie Cooper tried his luck from 25 yards out before the visitors drew level on 66 minutes.

A throw in from the left was worked across the penalty area to Lynch and although his first shot was blocked by a defender, he hit his follow up effort low into the net.

The home side continued to create chances going forward and four minutes later Olly Searle’s header from a free kick almost deceived Anderson when it plugged in the mud but the keeper adjusted in time to get down low to scoop up the ball.

On 74 minutes the home side went closer still after Cooper surged forward from his own half and after exchanging passes with Stuart McConnachie his cross from the right was met by Jackson and Anderson had to dive to his right to make a low save to keep the header out.

The visitors went close to netting a late winner with eight minutes to go when a deep corner into the box found Wilkins and his header had to be cleared off the line.

The rebound fell to substitute Callum Kitcher, who tried to back heel the ball through a crowd of players but the ball was cleared to safety.

Then came Portchester’s match winning moment. Turvey picked up the ball in midfield and kept on running with it. He first tried to get into the penalty area down the left hand side but then came back across the edge of the box to the right.

It looked like he may have taken the ball to too tight an angle to shoot on goal but he fired a low shot past Anderson and into the far corner of the net to spark wild celebrations among the home contingent.

The home side then had to see out a nervy five minutes of injury time before they could finally claim the win and end their miserable run of form.


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

+44 (0) 1329 233833