Match Report US Portsmouth vs Verwood Town 02-Feb-19
SYDENHAMS (WESSEX) LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
SATURDAY 2ND FEBRUARY 2019
UNITED SERVICES PORTSMOUTH 5 VERWOOD TOWN 1
USP's strategy for this game worked like a charm. From the parking spot to dressing rooms left us knackered. We are considering recording the date as a commemorative one to those Blue Badge Holders who had to miss it.
It took 32 minutes though for USP to breach our defence and a runner had to face the daunting Fawcett on a one on one. Fawcett's timing was to perfection. Flinging himself across the ball deflected the shot. The runner though continued his spurt colliding with Fawcett's six pack. Penalty. …. 0-1.
Earlier, Davies had continued his form with a few sparkling runs and Owen Nicholson benefitted from a Davies through ball shortly after the start to run free but fire just past the post.
While we were still settling after the hike, USP had tested the central pairing of Gajic and Johnston but lost out to a strong resilience. Aston though suffered after only 7 minutes with a hamstring tear, no doubt assisted by excess exertion following the trek.
USP's attack's were blunted in midfield by the irrepressible Dyer and Cowland's partnership. Hall's energy and determination was a massive help.
A Guthrie header was cleared off the line with 27 minutes gone and then a diving Nicholson header flashed wide of the post from a Dyer cross.
The penalty was the only goal of the half.
Half Time 0-1
Elliot Head, Tom Aston's replacement, was a revelation in the first few minutes of the half blocking a couple of proposed attacks down the left. Intelligent usage of the ball created a couple of good runs on goal but from one attack a quick counter let in a runner. A blistering shot was half blocked but the deflection wrong footed Fawcett and finished up in the net for USP's second of the game.
We pushed on. Joy picked the pocket of the flank player and a line ball found Cowland. A pass wide left and there was Davies to chip a sublime ball over the keeper to notch his seventh of the season. 1-2.
Johnston was now struggling with a knee problem and Joy persevered with bad bruising following a sliding tackle and taking studs. Because of a thin bench on the day both opted to play on.
USP then taught us how to score. A great piece of football cut us up on their left and a pass wide gave space for the flank player to make ground and from just outside the area a curler beat Fawcett to put the home side 1-3 ahead.
Elliott Head flashed a header wide of the post from a Dyer free kick as we tried hard to reduce the deficit.
10 minutes left and a cross from the right dropped in the 6 yard box for a scramble. USP won the tussle and made it 1-4 with a ball taken over the line under somebody's knee.
We battled back but couldn't crack USP's defence. On 90+3 Sam Joy was harshly judged to have brought down a player and the resultant penalty was tucked away. 1-5. There was no time for a re start as the whistle went for full time
The score line was overstated but the papers and records will always make it look like a comfortable win for USP.