Portchester eased their way to victory on the road in Wiltshire on Saturday.
With the hosts already consigned to a bottom two finish and Portchester languishing in mid-table, there was little to play for in this end of season encounter.
The Royals came face to face with the manager they started the season with - Ian Saunders had stepped into the Bemerton hot seat on a temporary basis for the home side’s last three league games of the season.
The game may have been short on quality but there was plenty of excitement in front of goal to keep the sparse crowd entertained.
The home side started brightly enough with Robbie Owen’s first effort not having enough power behind it to trouble Portchester keeper Max Alderson.
Owen’s next chance came after he picked the ball up on the left, went past three defenders and hit a shot which hit the underside of the crossbar before the loose ball was hacked clear.
Portchester took the lead on 11 minutes following a corner played in from the left. Home keeper Dan Kempson punched the ball away and Efu Kazadi and Olly Searle both had efforts blocked on the line before Joel Jackson lashed home the loose ball from six yards out.
The visitors doubled their lead four minutes later when Kazadi picked up the ball on the right before cutting inside the box. His first shot was saved by Kempson but the Portchester player reacted quickest to get to the rebound first and he slotted the loose ball home.
Bemerton pulled a goal back on 20 minutes when a free kick played up to the right edge of the penalty area was knocked into the path of Dylan Manufor, and his looping header sailed over the head of Alderson and dropped into the far corner of the net.
The home side had a great chance to level the scores eight minutes later when the referee surprised everyone by pointing to the penalty spot - only he seemed to spot some kind of infringement in the box.
However, Bemerton wasted the opportunity when Joe Spratt blazed the spot kick over the crossbar.
Portchester almost stretched their lead again three minutes before half time when they broke forward from midfield and Charlie Cooper drew Kempson off his line but he couldn’t guide his shot past him from the right edge of the six yard box.
The visitors got their third goal eight minutes into the second half when Kazadi picked up the ball on the left and started driving towards the goal.
He broke into the box and then hit a shot past Kempson which came back off the post but Brodie Spencer was in the right place at the right time to pick up the rebound and roll his shot into an empty net.
Two minutes later a deep free kick from the right for Bemerton found Manufor but he glanced his header wide.
Both sides traded chances midway through the second half. First Yankuba Ceesay fizzed a shot just wide of the far post for the home side and then at the other end Cooper hit a shot which Kempson blocked with his arms.
Josh Warren almost diverted a cross from the right into his own net when blocking it and from the corner Ceesay’s header hit the post and bounced straight into the arms of Alderson.
On 73 minutes Jordan Brooks got Portchester moving forward quickly when he spread the ball right to Cooper, who drove to the edge of the box but put his shot well off target.



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

+44 (0) 1329 233833