Match Report -

Match Report - , by Ian Craig

Fleet Spurs v US Portsmouth

Fleet Spurs 1 United Services Portsmouth 3 (Sydenhams Wessex League Division 1)

by John Porter

‘Remember, remember the fifth of November’ goes the old saying.  Spurs won’t remember today, or if they do it won’t be with any pleasure. This was their second successive home defeat and it resulted from another disappointing performance.

The first half started brightly enough, with both sides trying to play good football but all too often failing to retain possession.  Overall the game was even for most of the half, but poor defence by Fleet gave USP two chances, which they took efficiently.  After 23 minutes, Spurs carelessly gave the ball away thirty yards from their own goal and Taffinda Kanjanda ran on to the resulting through ball and calmly slotted the ball past Mark Appleby with his left foot.  Five minutes later, Services exploited a wide gap in the home defence, and after Appleby had parried Portsmouth’s first shot, Josh Smith easily netted the rebound.

After the break, Spurs attacked with much more conviction and seven minutes into the half Tom Slane reduced the arrears with a left-footed lob over Pete Houkes in the United Services goal.  Sensing the possibility of an equaliser, Fleet continued to attack, although they were unable to create any clear-cut chances.  The only occasion when they were close to being on target was when Chris Barnes’ shot struck the top of the crossbar and went over.  Services looked dangerous on their occasional breaks and after 76 minutes another through ball found the speedy Kanjanda and he outpaced the defence and put in a low shot that the advancing Appleby partially blocked but couldn’t prevent from crossing the line.  This wrapped the game up for USP.

Spurs remain in 16th place in the league, though they are falling further behind the teams immediately ahead of them.  Their next game is on Saturday, when they visit New Milton Town (kick-off 3 pm).  They will need a much-improved performance if they are to stand a chance of taking the points.

Spurs team: Mark Appleby; Rob Colfer; Adam Nash; Chris Barnes; Victor Mudonhi; Lloyd Jones; Dan Bone; Michael Bertoux (sub Chris Rose82); Jamil Olweny (capt); Sam Knowles; Tom Slane