Dave Carter recorded his first victory as manager of AFC Portchester on Saturday with a 3-2 victory at Folland Sports.
It was the Royals’ opening match in the end-of-season Hampshire Senior Invitational Cup competition and they took the three points from this Group 1 encounter.
The first half brought plenty of goalmouth action, with all five goals being scored in the opening 34 minutes. It was somewhat surprising then that no more goals were scored in the second period but although the home side had some openings, Portchester looked comfortably in control of the game.
The Royals opened the scoring in the opening minute due to a mix-up in the home defence. Lamin Jatta put keeper Henry Newman under pressure as he tried to clear a back pass, blocked his attempted clearance and then rolled the loose ball into the net.
Portchester doubled their lead on four minutes when Jatta was sent clear down the right and pulled his cross back across the six yard box. Lee Wort and Oscar Johnson both had shots blocked on the line before George Barker found the back of the net from close range.
The home side pulled a goal back ten minutes later when a cross from the right wing was hung up into the bright sunshine. Keeper Brad Snelling appeared to loose the flight of the ball as it dropped towards goal and his attempt to catch it saw the ball bounce off his arm and into the net.
Folland Sports drew level on 25 minutes when Ethan Anders picked up a ball from the left on the edge of the box. His shot was pushed away by Snelling but Clayd Roach was on hand to tuck away the rebound.
Joshua Ball and Jatta both failed with attempts to curl shots into the top corner before the visitors re-took the lead on 34 minutes.
After Johnson was brought down 25 yards out, Sam Pearce’s curling free kick was touched on to the crossbar by Newman but Jatta rolled home the re-bound from six yards out.
The home side closed the first half with a dipping shot by their captain Jamie Craven which Snelling watched just clear the crossbar.
The second half brought plenty of half chances but neither goal was seriously threatened. On 52 minutes, Roach’s free kick to the far post picked out Connor Rowe but his downward header didn’t trouble substitute keeper Jake Hallett.
Jatta had his hat-trick goal ruled out for offside on the hour mark and at the other end Ash Sheibatzadeh put his shot just wide.
Wort then had a chance but his shot lacked the power to trouble the home keeper and late on Craven hit two shots straight at Hallett.
Goals: Lamin Jatta 1min, 34mins; George Barker 4mins.
Line-up: Brad Snelling (replaced by Jake Hallett on 46mins), Harvey Aston, Adam Cripps, Tom Dinsmore, Olly Searle (replaced by Billy Price on 71mins), Sam Pearce, Lamin Jatta, Marley Ridge, Lee Wort, George Barker, Oscar Johnson (replaced by Sutcha Shepherd on 49mins).
Sub not used: Tom Patterson.
Before the weekend, AFC Portchester had already played two friendly matches following the return to football after the national lockdown.
The Royals returned to action on April 6 against Paulsgrove with a 2-2 draw.
After going behind on two minutes Steve Ramsey equalised with a volley six minutes later. Lamin Jatta then put Portchester in front on 26 minutes before the visitors equalised a minute later.
On April 10, the Royals hosted US Portsmouth and lost 4-1.
Sam Pearce headed the home side in front after only 40 seconds but two goals in each half saw the visitors run out comfortable winners.