In-form AFC Portchester will present a tricky challenge for AFC Totton when the Stags travel to the Wicor Recreation Ground for their Hampshire Senior Cup 2nd Round tie on Tuesday night.
The Royals are currently sitting in 2nd place in the Wessex League Premier Division, with a 100% record from their opening six matches leaving them behind the early leaders Bemerton Heath Harlequins on goal difference. That’s despite an emphatic 6-0 away win at Alresford Town on Saturday, following on from their 3-2 win at Baffins Milton Rovers in their previous league match on Tuesday 06 September.
Based in Fareham, the club was established in 1971 and joined the City of Portsmouth Sunday League. Originally known as Lloyds Sports, they changed their name to Colourvision Rangers in 1973 and then to Wicor Mill in 1976, before eventually landing on the name of AFC Portchester in 2000, when they merged with a local junior club. They have been members of the Wessex League since 2004, winning the Wessex League Cup in 2014/15 and the Russell Cotes Cup in 2013/14 and 2016/17, to add to their Hampshire League Division One title from the 2001/02 season.
After being released by the recently-promoted League One club Bristol Rovers in the summer, the former AFC Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Eastleigh striker Brett Pitman, who has almost 200 EFL goals to his name over a 17-year career, was persuaded to drop six levels down the English Football Pyramid to become Player/Coach at the Wicor Recreation Ground, working under Manager Dave Carter.
The 34-year-old has already made a significant impact upon his new side’s attacking force. He bagged the winner with a headed goal in that 3-2 win over Baffins in early September, and his goals also made the difference in wins over Cowes and Blackfield & Langley earlier in the campaign.
Despite elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Sholing in the Preliminary Round, The Royals have come bursting out of the traps this season with 22 goals from their first 6 matches in the Wessex Premier League, in which they finished 7th last season.
The 2nd Round match against AFC Totton will be their first involvement in the Hampshire Senior Cup this season, having received a bye in the 1st Round. Like Totton, the team also known as Portchy reached the Semi-Finals of last season’s competition, before losing 0-2 to the eventual winners Farnborough at Cherrywood Road.
According to our records, AFC Totton and AFC Portchester have only met each other five times, all of them in cup competitions, since the 2011/12 season. All five matches were won by the home team, resulting in three wins for Portchester and only two for Totton.
Frome Town’s talismanic creative midfielder Jonathan Davies is a former Stag, and his goal set Totton on their way to a 7-2 victory over Portchester in the Hampshire Senior Cup Quarter-Final on 31 January 2012. Michael Charles bagged a brace with Nathan Campbell, Ian Richardson, James Coutts and a Michael Gosney penalty completing the rout.
Three consecutive wins followed for Portchester between 2013 and 2015, with Totton bowing out of the Hampshire Senior Cup, the Russell Cotes Cup and the FA Cup at the Preliminary Round stage, respectively.
The most recent encounter between these two sides was another Hampshire Senior Cup 2nd Round match, in September 2019 – around this time, three years ago. Craig Feeney helped himself to a hat-trick with Matthew Hartmann also netting to give AFC Totton a 4-1 win at the Snows Stadium.
By Ben Rochey-Adams and Macolm Tombs, Club Historian