Brendon King blasts Portland despite Cowes win

Sunday 06th January 2019

PORTLAND UNITED 3
M Buckler 7, Richardson 40, S Buckler 60

COWES SPORTS 1
Watkins 88

A BELOW-PAR Portland United cantered to a 3-1 win over struggling Cowes Sports in their Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division contest at the Weyline Stadium.

Victory was the Blues’ eighth in a row in all competitions.

Brendon King’s men eased into a 3-0 lead on the hour through Max Buckler, Tom Richardson and Sam Buckler goals before Callum Watkins grabbed a late consolation for the Yachtsmen.

While the result rarely looked in doubt in this meeting of second against 18th, Portland’s performance was at times laboured and lacking the zip that had seen them embark on a run of seven straight wins prior to this clash.

Cowes set up to frustrate their hosts with a 5-4-1 formation but the Isle of Wight side’s plan failed after just seven minutes.

Max Buckler played in Jamie Symes and, although Symes’ shot was saved by Cowes’ goalkeeper, Buckler was on hand to blast home from 12 yards after following in.

Buckler pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Sean Stewart before Sports’ defender Callum Chase cracked a superb 35-yard effort against the post before Richardson scored his first goal since returning to the islanders from Bridport.

Darren Watts swung a corner in and Stewart nodded on for Richardson to split two Sports’ defenders and nod home from three yards.

After the interval, Sam Buckler brought the ball out of defence and played the ball to Steven Walker who returned the compliment with a pinpoint cross for the centre-back to head home.

Portland switched off with two minutes to play as a free-kick was headed against the bar and Watkins reacted quickest to fire past Sean Lillington.

Speaking to Echosport, King was critical of his side in victory.

He said: “We were really poor. They made it really difficult for us, especially first half. They played five at the back and four across midfield.

“Even though we were 2-0 up at half-time we lacked intensity, our passing and decision-making was poor, we were lazy and so we came in at half-time and said we needed to change things.

“Second half, Cowes were the better side – we were poor. We lacked application, just a really bad day. I’m really disappointed in our performance.”

King did add perspective to the win, noting the “good place” his side were in.

“They hit the bar, we created other chances but we just weren’t on it. I’m a little bit disappointed but it’s a good place to be even though we’ve won the game 3-1 and we’re disappointed with our performance.”

Blues: Lillington, Doidge, Whyton, S Buckler, McKechnie, Watts, M Buckler (Stewart 20), Halloran (C Clarke 65), Richardson (Walker 60), Beasley, Symes

Man-of-the-match: Sam Buckler

Match Ball Sponsor: Geoff Evans

Programme Sponsor: Nobby Hall

Attendance: 104

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