Written By Andy Jones (@TheRamblingHam)
Shaun Prentice grabbed his second goal in as many games as Ringwood beat US Portsmouth in their Sydenham’s Wessex Division one tie on Saturday.
Ringwood travelled to the Victory Stadium in search of back-to-back wins after dispatching Romsey in the FA Vase 2nd qualifying round last weekend.
First Team manager Richard Morse was forced to draft in Ben Morton on loan from Hungerford to plug the gap left by their usual stopper Liam Harris, who is currently serving a suspension for his dismissal against Romsey.
The 18-year-old was put straight into the starting line up to make his debut for the club against one of the league’s strongest sides as Ringwood put in another disciplined display.
A scrappy first first half limited both sides to few chances, but US Portsmouth’s James Franklyn and Jay Ripiner forced early saves from Ringwood’s loanee ‘keeper.
Ringwood rallied and created a couple chances of their own through Adam Riley, but nothing troubled USP’s keeper Tom Price, and the visitors remained on level terms going into half-time.
Morse’s men started the second half the brighter side, and just 5 minutes after the restart, Riley displayed some neat trickery in the box before slotting past Price in the USP goal.
USP were almost gifted an instant route back into the game, but fortunately for Morse’s side the referee dismissed the hosts claims for a penalty.
After a backs to the wall spell for the visitors, Shaun Prentice doubled Ringwood’s lead after 68 minutes to bag his second goal in as many games after some good initial play by Riley down the right flank.
Ringwood had control of the match and went chasing a third to put the game to bed, but with 10 minutes to go USP’s Franklyn saw his long range effort take a wicked deflection off Callum Horton and wrongfoot Morton in the Ringwood goal.
USP pushed for an equaliser but Ringwood kept to their managers game plan and displayed fine resilience to secure an impressive win on the road.
Their triumph marks back-to-back wins for Morse and his team, with the Ringwood manager expressing his delight after the game: “We played really well, we really dug in.
“We had a game plan against USP, who should have won the league last year, we looked to hit them on the counter.”
In-form striker Shaun Prentice said after the game that it was “nice to see them [goals] starting to trickle in” after admitting injuries had affected his form of late.
The win now moves Ringwood up to 11th with a game in hand over the teams around them. They face Bemerton Heath Harlequins at home next Saturday, followed by an away trip Downton on Tuesday 27th before facing Newton Abbot Spurs in the FA Vase 1st round.
Visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/ringwoodtown/teams/210809 to find out more about Ringwood’s upcoming fixtures and club news.