Portland United win marred by Alex Halloran injury

Sunday 09th September 2018

COWES SPORTS 0

PORTLAND UNITED 3
Watts 5, Halloran 12, Bastick 62

PORTLAND United eased to a superb three-goal victory over Cowes Sports in a match blighted by a serious ankle injury to Alex Halloran.

Darren Watts opened the scoring after just five minutes, while Halloran added another goal on 12 minutes before his injury in the 20th minute.

Winger Ed Bastick completed the scoring with a firm header in the second half.

Portland enjoyed a superb start to the match and scored with an audacious long-range effort.

A ball forward from Blues’ goalkeeper Jordan Tewkesbury found Jamie Symes, who ran and flicked on for Darren Watts to place his attempt into the net and over the poorly-positioned goalkeeper with a fantastic finish from 25 yards out.

Portland did not let their intensity drop and deservedly doubled their advantage seven minutes later.

A four-man passing move started with Ashley Smith finding Symes, who started a chain of passes involving Ryan McKechnie and Max Buckler, the latter able to pick out Halloran who headed in from eight yards out.

Unfortunately, with less than a quarter of the match played, Portland lost Alex Halloran to a suspected broken ankle, caused by an awkward landing after closing a Cowes player down and forcing a trip to hospital.

Bastick then replaced Halloran as the injury forced the Blues into an early substitution.

The first half then became very quiet as both sides tried to engineer a chance but could not break through.

Tewkesbury had a tranquil game as he did not have one save to make in the entire match – the Portland defence putting in a diligent performance.

The two sides went in at the break with Portland having gained a solid lead.

And, after 62 minutes Bastick scored Portland’s third goal when a quick break from Steven Walker saw the ball supplied to Jamie Beasley who whipped a fantastic ball in for Bastick to put a bullet header into the back of the net.

Portland were able to hold on easily to their win that boosts them to fourth in the table, level on nine points but above Cowes due to the three-goal margin of victory.

Portland United assistant-manager, Mark Carter said: “It was a fantastic result.

“After last week’s performance we had a good chat with them, after the first 15 minutes last week it was not good enough. We spoke about it during the week and before the game and they went out there and executed a fantastic performance.

“It (the injury) has put a dampener on the team spirit because obviously Alex is a big part of the squad.”

Portland: Tewkesbury, Smith, Bessant, Walker, Butcher, M Buckler, McKechnie, Watts (Godfrey 70), Beasley, Symes (Wall 75), Halloran (Bastick 25).

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