Blues stunned by Horndean in Vase

Wednesday 25th October 2017

PORTLAND UNITED 0 HORNDEAN 1

PORTLAND United boss Simon Browne labelled his side’s 1-0 FA Vase loss to Horndean at Grove Corner as “frustrating”.

The Blues created plenty of chances but found themselves thwarted by Deans’ goalkeeper Tom Price, who saved a first-minute Alex Halloran penalty.

Price also denied Sanchez Baker when one-on-one in the closing stages after Jack Maloney’s cross-cum-shot found the net.

Speaking to Echosport after the game, Browne lamented Portland’s inability to “take advantage of the opportunities”.

He said: “It was a frustrating evening, to be honest, because I felt it was a winnable game and we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities. We missed a penalty after 30 seconds of the game. If we went 1-0 up early in the game it would have changed the whole outlook of it.”

Browne also paid credit to Price, who repelled everything the Blues threw at him.

“It was a good save from the penalty and his handling in the wind was good.

“He made a good save from Sanchez Baker one-on-one and his kicking was good. The positions we put ourselves in he dealt with really well.

“Ultimately we missed chances to get ourselves back in the game,” he said.

Elaborating on Horndean’s goal, Browne felt Maloney’s strike was a “fluke”.

He said: “It was about 10 minutes from the end, they had a corner. It went back out to the corner taker and he whipped another cross in and it evaded everybody and went into the corner.

“Ninety per cent of people would have seen it as a cross. It might have caught the wind, a bit of a fluke goal. They were cock-a-hoop afterwards. They did the biz and we didn’t.”

Browne was left to ponder what might have been in what he described as a “night of what ifs”.

He said: “It was probably a night of what ifs. They didn’t look as formidable a side as I was told they were. We weren’t helped by three of our regulars missing.

“Ryan (McKechnie, work), Ash Smith withdrew on the morning through illness and Ross Doidge because of a family bereavement. It meant I had to shuffle the pack.

“Alex Godfrey played in midfield until he got injured and came off. I was forced to put Lewis Clarke on the right of midfield.”

Blues: Lillington, Bessant, S Buckler, Butcher, Morris, Beasley (Ayunga 75), Mitchell, Halloran, Godfrey (Whyton 46), L Clarke, Baker. Subs not used: Payne, Weeks, Parslow

Match sponsor - Portland Diggers Metal Detecting Club; Matchball sponsor – Peter Higgins; MOTM sponsor – Pat Kempson; Programme sponsor – Karen’s Motorcycle Training School

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