Match Report United Services Portsmouth vs Verwood Town 17-Sep-2011
SYDENHAMS (WESSEX) LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
SATURDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER 2011
UNITED SERVICES PORTSMOUTH 0 VERWOOD TOWN 2
With Adie Arnold busy packing his suncream ready for his trip to Spain, Mark Beverly took the reigns for our visit to U S Portsmouth. Five changes were made from the team which lost at Cove the previous week in the F.A.Vase. In came Murray, Delaney, Gajic, Homer and Freeman replacing Wilson, Brennan, Smalley Barnett (all sitting on the bench this week) and Josh Brown who has now departed for Ringwood Town.
The reshuffled team settled into the game very quickly and soon had U S P on the backfoot. An early corner saw Gajic get a header in which couldn't find it's way through a crowded goalmouth. 6 minutes gone and a good move down the left saw Murray whip in a great cross which Gajic was inches away from connecting with. To keep us alert our opponents created an opportunity shortly after when a stinging shot from an angle 10 yards out was well beaten away by Lynch. The resultant corner was well cleared and a quick move down the right saw the overlapping Freeman set up Dyer whose shot from the edge of the box went wide.
On 12 minutes Haskell held off his marker well and laid the ball to Saxby whose 20 yard strike was well saved by the USP goalkeeper. Shortly after another chance fell to Saxby after Murray crossed to the far post but his shot went just over the bar. Halfway through the first half our best chance so far came as a result of a mis-kick by the home goalkeeper, the ball flew high in to the air and Gajic was the first to re-act but planted his header on to the crossbar. Dyer was following up but skied his shot from 12 yards out. The USP goal was leading a charmed life. Half an hour gone and a rare shot from the hosts flew over the bar. Verwood continued to press and another good move saw Haskell tee up Homer who shot just wide. USP then created an opening and a shot from outside the box seemed goalbound until it hit the centre forward on the back and flew out. Just before half-time an exquisite chip by Saxby to the far post just eluded the charging Haskell. Half-time 0-0
The second half started with the home team looking like they were getting on top and had the best of the first ten minutes but the defence led by the commanding Delaney on his return held firm. On 56 minutes Haskell had the ball in the net but only after the referee had blown for offside. On the hour mark a brilliant first time pass by Dyer freed Gajic, he got to the by-line and unselfishly laid it back for the on-rushing Homer whose usually reliable left foot let him down and another shot sailed over. A fantastic move which deserved a better finish. On 63 minutes Murray lost possession in his own half but Evans brilliantly rescued the situation with a crucial interception. Shortly after Murray made way for Wilson. On 66 minutes Homer jinked his way into the box past two defenders but a third one pulled him down and the referee pointed to the spot. Evans stepped up and made no mistake. 0-1
70 minutes had gone when the home defence made an error which let in Haskell but his shot was well saved by the keeper. Minutes later Saxby was put clear but the
keeper saved again with his feet. Far from hanging on, we were looking for another and shots by Dyer and Webb missed the target and an ambitious attempt at an over-head kick from Haskell from a Saxby cross didn't quite come off. With 5 minutes remaining Smalley replaced Gajic who had worked his socks off.
More chances fell to Verwood in the dying minutes. A long throw to Haskell was cleverly chested to Webb on the edge of the box but we hadn't brought our shooting boots and another chance went begging. With seconds left on the clock, a high ball dropped on the edge of the six-yard box and the keeper fumbled under a challenge from Haskell. The ball bounced free and Smalley was on hand to nod it into the empty net and the points were safe. Full-time 0-2
Report submitted by Steve Jefferis