The Porthampton Bugle

If it's not in The Bugle – It's not happening!

South Meon 3 Porthampton 0

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The heavy loss to South Meon this week sees Porthampton having lost 3 out of their last 4 games.

A too soon return by Gibson this week after his back injury saw inconsistent play between the posts, and the return in the last 20 minutes of his stand in, Eric Pascoe.

The veteran keeper was injured against Newton Ashcliffe when he came off his line to punch the ball clear and connected with Ashcliffe’s Plunkett as he came forward for the header. The resulting back injury saw him being stretchered off after only 17 minutes of play.

The South Meon strikers’ too full advantage of Gibson’s less than 100% fitness, firing shots at all corners that saw him struggling to reach on many occasions.

The strategy paid off for The Meon after half an hour when Gibson, just in time to get a hand to a low left hand corner shot, could not scramble back in time for the follow up in the bottom right. Both shots came courtesy of front man, Robbie Billyard, who would continue to make Gibson suffer across the duration of the game.

Billyard’s partner up front, Steve Daniell, highlighted Gibson’s premature return five minutes later. A misplaced pass across the box was intercepted leaving him in a 1 on 1 with the Porthampton goalie.

A relatively poor attempt at a chip over Gibson saw Porthampton’s goalie fall heavily after jumping to push the ball over the crossbar. The usually routine save saw Gibson take a moment to get up and seemed to act as a further incentive for the opposition.

The resulting corner was poorly cleared by Varner and collected by David Moore whose composed cross was met by Billyard, hammering the ball across the face of the goal and Gibson’s outstretched hands to make it 2-0 by the half time whistle.

South Meon had tasted blood in the first half and were hungry for more, pressing forward and giving the away side little time to regain their composure.

Porthampton’s defence put up a valiant attempt to close down the onslaught at the back but it only took one lapse of concentration to see Billyard once again up against Gibson, this time at the penalty spot after a frustrated Franks took him down within the area.

Billyard took advantage of the keeper’s limited movement and placed a timely shot into the bottom right corner with ease to gain his hat trick.

With the next break in play, Gibson was pulled from the pitch in favour of Pascoe, far too late to have an impact on the course of the game but enough to prevent the score line being any more of an embarrassment.

After the match one Porthampton supporter had this to say: “I hope someone’s asking about Bain’s decision to field a blatantly unfit player, I don’t know what he was thinking!”

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