Friends, family, students, and football fans alike, celebrated the life of Rob Harris in a charity football match at HMS Temeraire.
The goal of the match was to raise as much money as possible for the Clic Sargent charity: a charity which helps young adults and children suffering from cancer.
The night was a success in the celebration of Rob’s life and the charity. The two teams taking to the field of play were a UPFC XI made up of current team stars, such as first team captain Jordayne Henry and Norwegian star Sindre Haarberg.
The team facing Portsmouth were the Rob Harris XI side, who included Rob’s brother James Harris and ex-club President, Alexander James.
Before the match began, the night was kick started by a performance from the University of Portsmouth dance society.
With that the two teams came out for kick, and a huge crowd that had massed for the match. Following an impeccably observed one minute’s silence for Rob, the game kicked off.
UPFC began the game the stronger team, with the majority of possession in the first ten minutes of the game. James Ashton controlled the middle of the park in the first exchanges.
On the 6th minute UPFC won a corner and were dominating the game. Adam Hitch’s resulting header then had to be cleared off the line by the defender following a mistake from the goalkeeper.
The next ten minutes then followed the same pattern as the first, Jordayne Henry was found by Michael Carroll just outside the box, and was brought down heavily by the defender. Players and fans waited nervously but the referee waved play on.
The game slowed down once again following this chance, but Henry would prove to be a constant nuisance for the Rob Harris XI defence. Instead of letting Henry break through, more often than not he was brought down.
“Norwegian wizard Haarberg, deployed his skill to play the ball through a defender’s legs and line him up with the goal”
After shots from Carroll and Josh Noyes, the Norwegian wizard Haarberg, deployed his skill to play the ball through a defender’s legs and line him up with the goal. The oppositions keeper, who had an excellent first half, once again stood tall and saved the shot.
He quickly bowled the ball out of his area and started what would prove to be the Rob Harris XI’s first real chance of the match.
With so many UPFC forward, they were stretched at the back, at the climax of the counter attack there were three away players to two defenders. The shot was fantastically saved by James Wyer, preventing an almost certain goal.
With five minutes to play in the first half it was real end to end stuff. However, finally on the 35th minute UPFC took the lead as Noyes broke into the area and found the bottom left hand corner. Just after the restart, Tom Austin was brought down outside the box as UPFC tried to increase their advantage. The free kick from Muno Kuwana struck the bar and came agonisingly close to increasing UPFC’s lead.
The Rob Harris XI were now suffering from the earlier attack and many of their players were visibly dreaming of half time.
With this exhaustion, the Rob Harris player’s heads dropped and in a similar fashion to the first, UPFC were allowed to burst into the area and score a second just before half time.
The goal proved to be the final action of the first half, with UPFC 2-0 up against Rob Harris XI.
During half time, supporters were once again entertained by a performance. This time the University of Portsmouth’s Cheerleading Club, Portsmouth Phoenix, put on their display.
The two teams then emerged for the second half of the match with UPFC 2-0 up. Rob Harris XI came out and seemed to be rejuvenated by a passionate half time team talk. UPFC came under pressure that they hadn’t experienced in the first half.
Surprisingly Rob Harris XI snatched the first goal of the second half. A powerful free kick was saved by Wyer, but only into the path of the marauding striker who tapped it in from close range for 2-1. The team wheeled away in delight pointing to the “Harris 11” name, that was on all of the players shirts.
The first exchanges of the second half were far livelier than the first half and quickly after the restart, on the 50th minute, UPFC made it 3-1.
Now with a crucial advantage, UPFC scored yet again to make it 4-1. Rory Allen releasing the striker who slotted it away to increase UPFC’s advantage.
UPFC then slotted back into normal proceedings and had a devastating finish to the match. In the space of ten minutes, the home side beat the keeper twice to make it 6-1 with five minutes to play.
The Rob Harris XI were now being given the run around, but did well to stop UPFC from making it seven. UPFC professional as ever however, kept the pressure eon their opponents and kept the pressure on right until the final whistle.
With that the game finished. The two teams came together at the end for photographs and for once the scoreboard ceased to matter as the crowd were reminded why the event was created.
Fans and family congratulated the two teams who had come together in the aid of Clic Sargent and provided a fantastic spectacle.
On the night of the event, donations totalled over £800.00.