PORTISHEAD TOWN 1 v 4 PAULTON ROVERS-AET
Posset take Rovers to extra time
REPORT THANKS TO KERRY MILLER
Somerset Premier Cup 1st Rd
WITH a small matter of an FA Cup 4th Qual Rd tie at home to National League Sutton United in four day’s time, Southern Leaguers Paulton Rovers could have done without a Premier Cup tie at a rainswept Bristol Road on Tuesday night, and could have been excused if they had been less than enthusiastic about the situation, writes Kerry Miller.
Portishead were coming off the back of an 8-0 hammering at Toolstation League First Division leaders Westbury United on Saturday, and seeing the relatively strong line up Rovers’ boss John Rendell fielded, could also have been full of trepidation, but in the end the night did not pan out as suspected and instead the 63 soaked spectators watched a full blooded contest which went deep into extra-time before it was resolved.
Paulton began on the front foot, using the width of Posset’s impressively large pitch and insdie six minutes were ahead as Andy Elcock found room on the right and his cross was headed down and in by Jack Ball, who seemingly saw more of the ball in the first hour that the rest of his side put together.
The home side had no intention of lying down meekly and after Elcock had driven over from distance, lanky striker Rob Latham’s effort was deflected over for a corner, which he just failed to convert at the far post.
Paulton were seeing most of the possession but the home defence, with the excellent Ryan Scott in goal, coped well aided by the occasional stroke of luck which they earned, especially when Dave Sims’ cross was sidefooted wide from two yards by Ball.
Liam Monelle then threw in a cross which home defender Josh Ford somehow just nodded away before Posset escaped and all but levelled when Latham’s header was cleared off the line with Andy Hannah beaten. The home side were rewarded for their graft five minutes from the break when a long cross field pass somehow found its way to Will Cook on the left and he accepted the chance gratefully to make it 1-1 at half-time.
As the clingy rain and strong winds intensified Rovers upped the pace but once again the home backline coped well despite the probing on both wings from Sims and Josh Morgan-Williams, who had a quiet night but looked dangerous whenever near the ball.
Referee Craig Scriven was kept busy with a clutch of bookings from both sides but the game was never unpleasant, although that can’t be said of the verbal abuse thrown at the linesman from a couple of irate locals as the tie went away from the home side much later, which was a shame.
With a soaking pitch and a penalty area stacked with players, keeper Hannah widely opted to punch everything and he was faultless as Monell and Ball probed and Harrison Williams produced a goal saving tackle.
Portishead were reduced to the occasional sporadic attack and in one of them Joe Ellis headed over but after Rovers substitute Mario Mateus was denied by Hannah’s legs, the game went into extra-time, possibly with Rovers’ man Rendell rueing fielding half a dozen who would face Sutton on Saturday.
Posset began again well with Cook volleying over and James Clarke hitting a free-kick wide but the tide turned two minutes into the second half. With the heroic home defence beginning to curl at the edges, and optimistically shouting for offside, substitute Joe Chandler was at the back post to finally break the deadlock.
It knocked the wind out of the home sails and Monelle escaped twice in the last few minutes, beating the tiring last line to put an unfair spin on the scoreline after two hours of fine action on a grim night.
Press and Media Officer
Toolstation Western League
Mob 07702 502039