Late show seals victory for Portland

Sunday 08th April 2018


Clarke 65, McKechnie 80

LEWIS Clarke and Ryan McKechnie struck late on to hand Portland a scrappy victory over Newport (IoW) in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

Heading into the 65th minute, Portland United interim-manager Gary Bailey had been wondering if the victory was going to come but Clarke and McKechnie ensured his side went home with all three points.

Portland were boosted by the return of McKechnie, who missed the 0-0 draw with Brockenhurst.

Portland started the match in a dominant fashion and never let up, even if chances were hard to come by.

Throughout the match, goalkeeper Sean Lillington did not have to save a single shot as the Blues defence put in a solid performance for their third consecutive clean sheet.

Portland did not have trouble getting into the final third but found moves breaking down repeatedly as they struggled to engineer good chances.

Both sides struggled to really get going throughout the contest and the first half ended with the two teams deadlocked.

In the second half, Portland eventually made the breakthrough despite wondering if it was ever going to happen for them.

Newport never looked like winning the match but the question became whether Portland could earn the victory.

With 25 minutes to go, Clarke was on hand to strike from close range after the Blues had a shot blocked to hand Portland the lead and they would not look back from this point on.

With 10 minutes left, McKechnie struck from the edge of the area with a sweetly struck shot that nestled in the top corner of the net to cement the victory for Portland.

The Blues from this point on easily held on to all three points for a valuable victory.

Portland are next in action on Tuesday night when they host Blackfield & Langley (7.45pm).

After the match, Bailey admitted: “We sort of wondered if the goal was ever going to come.

“When the games are coming thick and fast the three points are all we are after so from that point of view it was a positive afternoon.

Bailey added: “It was a good result, it was a pretty ordinary game. It was not a game for the purists. It was a typical end of season game.”

Portland: Lillington, Smith, Whyton, Buckler, Sharpe (Payne 75), McKechnie, Doidge, Halloran (Butcher 65), Mitchell (Read 55), Bearwish, Clarke


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