FRESH from their first defeat of 2018, Overton United travelled to title favourites, Paulsgrove, which is always a tough assignment.

The visitors were without Kieron Fuller, Darren Turner and goalkeeper Sean O’Brien, but recent recruit Harry Rudge started in midfield and Louis Chambers returned from a week's break. Local lad, Lewis Watts came in for O’Brien.

Overton started well with much of the ball going through Rudge and Merson Webb in midfield, with Dave Parry looking dangerous too. The best chances fell to Paulsgrove and Watts did brilliantly to keep Paulsgrove at bay.

The deadlock was broken late in the first half with an unfortunate bobble for Chambers saw the Paulsgrove striker pounce and finish neatly taken to leave Watt’s with no chance to make it 1-0.

At the half time interval, spirits were high as Overton had much of the ball despite the howling wind against them.

The second half saw Jonnie Gurney replace Steve Price who was carrying a knock and Gurney looked lively despite his three weeks out. Paulsgrove managed the threat well and eventually doubled their lead with a well worked move to unlock the Ali Brown and Chambers central defence pairing to make it 2-0.

Overton continued to knock on the ‘Grove’ door with James Jupp and Gurney both looking dangerous and Harry Rudge playing some delightful balls into dangerous areas.

Despite Overton’s persistence, Paulsgrove held on well at 2-0. The game was played in a great spirit and refereed impeccably with no bookings.

Overton joint manager Gary Savory was not too down beat after the match and said: "It may have been our side's second defeat on the bounce, we know we are making great progress as a club.

"We have taken away trips to the two toughest opponents and acquitted ourselves very well. With the new additions to Overton’s squad of Ali Brown, Dave Parry, Max Elward and Harry Rudge we know we can compete and beat most teams in this league.

"With the reserves also top of the league and in the League Cup final, we are looking forward to finishing the season on the front foot."

Overton Reserves booked their place in the final with a 3-0 win at Paulsgrove as Parry, Price and Fuller all scored after the break.