HORNDEAN 1 PORTLAND UNITED 1

Sunday 22nd April 2018

PORTLAND United picked up a creditable point at Horndean, drawing 1-1 in a scrappy Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division encounter.

Tom Bearwish handed the injury-hit Blues a 32nd-minute lead, while Mark Smith got the final touch for the Deans’ second-half leveller, sliding in with United’s Shaun Bessant to scramble home on 65 minutes.

Chances were otherwise infrequent in what Portland’s interim boss Gary Bailey described as a “tit for tat” finale.

Speaking to Echosport, Bailey felt the outcome was a “fair result”. He said: “It’s a tough place to go, Horndean are a good side and we’re at the bare bones with players. We’re terrifically pleased with everybody’s attitude and approach, so it’s definitely a point gained.

“The pitch was a difficult surface to play on, but we caused them problems on the counter attack. It was tough to get going and both teams were cancelling each other out.

“Eventually we got the breakthrough with a good bit of play from Jacob Read, he slipped Tom one-on-one and he slotted it past the keeper.

“Second half we set up to be hard to break down and we coped really well with them coming on to us.

“Unfortunately we had a momentary lapse in concentration and let their lad thread a ball across the area and Shaun slid in (with Smith) and it went in off both of them.

“From then on it was tit for tat – a draw was a fair result.”

Bailey’s men now face a tricky assignment at third-placed Sholing tomorrow (8pm), a fixture the Blues’ number one feels will be a “tough test”.

He said: It will be equally as big a challenge as Horndean, only 48 hours after playing, but everybody’s in the same boat.

“It’s a tough test. They’re a good side with a good group of players. They’re on a great run of form and it’s a tough place to go when you’re at full strength, without being a bit patched up.”

Midfielder Ross Doidge picked up a rib injury against the Deans and is likely to miss out, while Alex Godfrey (ankle and calf) has sustained a rehab injury to his calf and faces another week out.

Bailey said: “Alex is professional and is great with his rehab but he’s overcooked it and has a compensatory injury in his calf. We’re hoping we’ll see him before the end of the season.”

Team Lineup & Stats for Sunday 22nd April 2018

No Player Yellow Cards Red Cards Goals

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