Wyvern Challenge Cup

Team Solent Reserves 3

(Giovanni Landu, Leo Norton, Jordan Godfrey)

AFC Portchester Reserves 1

(Cameron Quirke)

Attendance: 20 (approx. Headcount)

Test Park (3G)

Monday night football on Sky Sports has nothing on this epic encounter. I would like to see Carra’ and G Nev pick apart and analyse what can only be described as a mammoth Wyvern Challenge Cup Round One fixture.

After missing a game Saturday I was pleased that Team Solent reserves had a game on the Monday to kick off the week in style. However I’m not afraid to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from the game (sometimes they turn out to be the best matches).

Test Park is close to home/work, the home of my university football team so perfect location for an easy Monday night.

The Ground

This is my second visit to Test Park this season so it would be easy for me to link you over to my first post from July; ‘Travelling To- Team Solent’ from their big friendly defeat to Havant & Waterlooville.

I have visited Test Park countless times over the years, whether to watch football, play football (six aside) or film university projects and I love the facility as a whole.

However as I got to the ground and saw the turnstiles closed and the floodlights off I feared the worst. However to my left, the 3G pitch where I won the Solent Student Six Aside League Division Two with Rapid Viennetta back in early 2015, both teams were warming up.

I plonked myself on the barrier bordering the pitch, reminiscing about all the balls I lost over the opposite fence with my Robert Huth style clearances and the two goals I scored in three years of playing.

The pitch can look a bit confusing with lines all over the place due to its multi purpose, after all it is also home to the American Football side so it also has the rugby style goals behind each ‘soccer’ net.

I also got talking to a nice gentlemen who had drawn up his own team sheet so I had some sort of idea of who I was watching.

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The Game

Jim Orvis set up all three goals as Team Solent reserves came from a goal down to beat their AFC Portchester counterparts 3-1 and progress to the next round of the Wyvern Challenge Cup.

Cameron Quirke had put his side ahead in the opening ten minutes of the game but three late goals all assisted by the returning Orvis secured the victory on the night.

Team Solent found themselves up against it from the off when Portchester started the game brightly and quickly found themselves in the lead thanks to their captain Cameron Quirke.

Quirke picked up the ball just inside the opposition half and seemed to just direct his run through the middle of the park unchallenged to slot in past the oncoming Dion Gibbs.

Jim Orvis, who has made a return to the university side following graduation last season, had the first real chance for the home side when he volleyed wide at the back post from a free kick on the left flank.

Harry Gregory missed a golden opportunity to stretch Portchester’s lead but his header went wide of the mark when he was left open in the box.

Orvis was causing all sorts of problems throughout the game and Giovanni Landu was at fault when he met the cross at the near post but pushed the ball wide.

Just before the interval Gregory had the ball in the back of the net and looked to have put his side 2-0 up before the break when he latched onto a defensive mishap to poke home, however the linesman on the far side had his flag up for offside.

Team Solent made one change at the break with utility man Steve Black being replaced by Jordan Godfrey as the students looked to get back into the game.

They soon found their rhythm and were playing far better than the first half showing despite visiting winger Efu Kazadi nearly bending his cross into the bottom corner.

Solent front man Daniel Sharp sent one into orbit over the bar from the edge of the box and that proved to be his final contribution to the game, being replaced by Ioannis Theodora.

The home side did manage to find the equaliser when Orvis cut inside to thread a lovely ball into Landu who let it roll across him before stroking the ball into the bottom corner.

Solent had the momentum and Orvis and Landu again combined, this time Landu couldn’t quite get a touch to divert Orvis’ cross across the goal line.

With the sides level and the thought of extra time looming, Portchester didn’t learn from their mistakes as Orvis collected the ball on the touchline from a driven pass by defender Tom Shann. Orvis ran down the wing and floated in a lovely cross with teammates queuing up to fire in when they outnumbered the visitors in the box and it was Leo Norton who powered his header over the line.

With the home side on the ascendency it was a serious case of déjà vu as Orvis crossed in again to Godfrey who was quick at the near post to slam in the volley into the roof of the net for a true smash and grab.

Orvis was unlucky not to score himself in the final seconds when he managed to loop a 35-yard free kick up and over the wall but goalkeeper Callum McGeorge did well to get his fingertips to it and tip it over the bar.

2016/17 Games: 35

2016/17 Grounds: 36

Total Grounds Visited: 172

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