MIDFIELDER Alex Halloran insisted it was the “right time” to leave Portland United after 14 seasons.Halloran, who made the decision for footballing and professional reasons, made his Blues debut as a teenager in the mid-2000s.He went on to play in one of the most successful spells of the club’s history, winning three titles in four years under boss Gary Bailey.Bailey’s reign included winning the Wessex League in the 2016/17 season having clinched the Division One silverware in the previous campaign.Speaking to Echosport, Halloran felt the islanders’ current team needed to maintain a fresh feel as the rebuild under new boss Franklyn Clarke continues.He said: “I’m 33 now and a lot of people say that’s when you’re getting on.“I’ve been up there for so long that I’ve loved every season – I’ve been there 14 years on and off.“The teams we’ve had over the years, with a lot of friends I’ve made, I’ve played with so many good players.“It’s just where people have left for jobs, lives, families or they’ve gone to other teams.“It’s just not been the same the last season and a half.“With the new players, new manager up there it needs a revamp with youth to come through. The new management are putting their stamp on it.“I just felt it was the right time for me to make that decision. It was my decision and no-one else’s.”Halloran revealed he had talks with Clarke before deciding upon a split from the club.“We spoke briefly before I made the decision,” he said.“I wasn’t pushed and it wasn’t me saying I didn’t want to play for him.“It wasn’t an agreement, but it just felt like it was best for both parties.“He can bring in young lads he’s been dealing with through Dorch and he knows people locally.“He can give young lads a chance to play for Portland, it’s a great club. The best thing for them to do is to get the young lads in who can get some experience of playing at that level.“Then, hopefully they can stay in the league, get better and build on it.”Asked for his fondest memories at Portland, Halloran added: “The season we actually won the Wessex Prem.“We’ve had some great teams over the years, going back to when I was early 20s, and obviously good managers.“That’s why I stayed there so long because it was such a nice club to play for.“Definitely the season we won the Prem was the most memorable because the team was so good, from the starting XI to the subs.“We had such a good squad and everyone was so happy to play together. That was my most enjoyable season, just for the achievement.“Going from playing in the DPL, winning Wessex One and then winning the Wessex Prem after.”

PORTLAND UNITED RESERVES 1BorthwickDORCHESTER SPORTS 1SamwaysPORTLAND United Reserves fought back to draw 1-1 with Dorchester Sports in torrid conditions at the Camp & Satherley Stadium.Sports fielded seven ex-Blues in their starting XI with just a single point separating the sides before kick-off in this tight Dorset Premier League derby.Amid driving wind and rain, Sports made the first chance in the eighth as ex-Blue Jamie Symes teed up Jamie West who was unfortunate to see his shot expertly kept out on the line by home keeper Josh Hadley.Another former islander, Alex Godfrey, had a goal ruled out for offside on 20 minutes before the striker went off with a calf strain.West then went through one-on-one but found Hadley in excellent form again with a crucial block, Sports’ appeals for a penalty from the rebound waved away.Sports took the lead on 40 minutes, with sub Jamie Samways’ stunning free-kick finding the top-left corner of the net.Josh Camp did have the ball in the visitors’ net almost immediately only for the referee to bring play back for a free-kick which Camp put over the crossbar.Portland came out from half-time brighter but Jamie Rawlings was denied at close range by Hadley after dancing past two defenders.Blues grabbed an equaliser on the hour as Manny Roche chipped a neat ball in the box for Greg Borthwick to finish past former Dorchester keeper Nick Hutchings.West and Symes were guilty of missing further opportunities yet, while Portland finished the stronger, neither side could find a winner.Post-match, Blues’ boss Justin Faulkner said: “This was a typical local derby, neither side wanted to give an inch, I thought we were unlucky to go in to the break behind.“Josh has put the ball in the bottom corner but the ref brought it back for a free-kick to us, had he played the advantage and seen where it went we would have been level.“Take nothing away from Jamie Samways’ free-kick though, it was a very good finish, nothing Josh Hadley could have done with that one.”Faulkner added: “Having the wind in our faces made it harder second half but that made us keep the ball better and play it on the floor which is more the way we want to play and have been playing.“We rode our luck at times but we also made some good opportunities which we didn’t make the most of, the weather probably ruined what could have been an even more entertaining game.“Obviously Sports having so many of our old Wessex League players we knew quite a lot of what they will be about, they do have a lot of quality in their ranks and we managed to nullify that for big periods.“They did get a couple of good chances but were wasteful with them whereas Greg made no mistake with his only good chance of the game to get his first goal for the club.“At the start of pre-season I said to the group that I wanted to go and cause some upsets this season and really have a go at some of the best teams in this division, I think we have done that apart from the shocker we had against Blandford on the opening day of the season.“We were unlucky not to win at Ham Rec and took a point from Dorch Sports, two clubs who have players of Wessex League quality which is what my lads aspire to. That is our role, to produce players capable of stepping up to that level.”Sports’ manager Ashley James said: “We’re disappointed not to win – we did enough. It’s the story of the season, we didn’t take our chances again.“We didn’t lose the game and I suppose that’s the only consolation.“We were fantastic first half, we were against the wind, defended really well and had some really good chances going against what can only be described as gale-force winds.“We went 1-0 up at half-time and got blown into the changing rooms – it was that strong.“We came out second half and it was like a normal day, like someone had flicked a switch. To say it was bizarre was an understatement, so basically we had no advantage second half. It was very, very odd.“We thought we’d done enough first half against the wind but it just wasn’t there second half. It was an even game, they got their goal and in the end they were most likely to get the winner.”Commenting on the penalty shout, James added: “Jamie West went through one-on-one and hit it straight at the goalkeeper.“Then he got bundled down in the box, which I think should’ve been a penalty.“The ball ricocheted out, he followed it and the defender jumped over his back and he went down but it didn’t get given.“We had a couple of chances second half but we didn’t really create after their goal. It kind of knocked the stuffing out of us and towards the end they were on top and we were holding on a bit.”Sports now lie in ninth after their first draw of the league season, while Portland slip one place to 13th.Blues’ Reserves: Hadley, Diaz, Riley, Tennant, Ty Butcher, Read, To Butcher (Ryan), Garbutt, Borthwick, M Roche, Camp (Hill). Sub not used: Barrell.Sports: Hutchings, Smith, A Gould (Gosney), Anstey, Bessant, G Will, Watts (J Steele), Rawlings, West, Godfrey (Samways), Symes.

TADLEY CALLEVA 1PORTLAND UNITED 1PORTLAND United picked up a second point on their Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division travels this season, drawing 1-1 at Tadley Calleva.The Blues’ youngsters continue to show signs of blossoming – this result coming after Tuesday’s cruel 2-1 stoppage-time loss to Hamworthy United.Playing a fixture which involved a 200-mile round trip, Portland defended superbly with the experienced Sam Poole and Sam Buckler ably supported by Louis Hankin.Portland had to find a way back from Josh Drew’s opening goal, his flicked header rocketing past away goalkeeper Steve Boore from a devilish inswinging corner.Showing the same spirit displayed against Hamworthy, the islanders duly levelled when midfielder Ryan McKechnie nodded home expertly for a 1-1 scoreline at half-time.After the break, promising midfielder Marcus Smith – playing his first 90 minutes for the Blues – fired narrowly off target.Joel Hewitt and Oli Lowes also tried their luck but were unable to add a second for the visitors.Tadley did apply late pressure but the Portland defence held firm to seal a creditable point on the road.After picking up his fourth point in four games as boss, Franklyn Clarke expressed his delight at the result, which consolidates Portland’s 18th position.He told Echosport: “I’m really happy – if we pick up a point in most of our away games I’ll be really happy.“It was another solid defensive display by the whole team. We defended from the front but the three centre-halves were unbelievable.“We’re getting better going forward in terms of quality, so it’s coming together nicely.”He added: “I think overall a draw was a fair result.“For our lads to do that on Tuesday night against Hamworthy, go toe-to-toe with them for 90 minutes, and then to put in another performance like that away from home, I’m made up with them.“It’s a good week. The performance rather than the result on Tuesday and then the performance and result today. Good progress is being made.”Blues: Boore, Coombs, Hutchinson (Hanratty 65), S Buckler, Poole, Hankin, Williams, McKechnie, Hewitt, Lowes, Smith. Subs not used: Clarke, Lucas.

We wish Lloyd Green all the best after accepting the post of Kit Managaer at Weymouth FC, but this does mean we are now looking for a suitable person to replace him.Perhaps someone who aspires to a higher level and wants to gain experience or perhaps someone who would like to be involved with this fantastic club just for the social life. What does this involve? HOME GAMES: Laying out kit - including warm up equipment etc.Check after games that all items have been returned to relevant boxes.Look after the substitute board during the game and substitute clothing/bibs etc. AWAY GAMES: You will be expected to travel to away games collecting all the relevant equipment from the club and be responsible for returning the kit after the game to the club. For both home and away games you would be responsible for match balls and warm up balls.The laundering of the kit is NOT your responsibility. If you need any more information David can be contacted on 01305 861291 or 7975931199

PORTLAND UNITED RESERVES 0SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 1PORTLAND United Reserves suffered their first home league loss of the season to Swanage Town & Herston in the Dorset Premier League.Swanage scored the only goal of the game in the 11th minute as Neemo Nixon’s cut back was slammed home by Charlie Brassington.Blues’ keeper Josh Hadley saved well from Nixon and Ocean Smith as the Swans applied real pressure before half-time.Portland came out brighter in the second half and could have taken a share of the spoils with Jamie Harlowe clearing the ball off the goal line.Home forward Manny Roche also fired wide when put clean through after a slick build up from back to front.On reflection, home boss Justin Faulkner said: “It`s fairly safe to say we didn’t get going, perhaps the three-week lay-off had a part to play in that as we looked rusty and nervous.“We made a lot of changes from what we have seen this season, perhaps that could also have had an effect on what we saw out on the pitch.“We struggled to put anything together until the last 15 minutes when we finally (found) a rhythm and put them under constant pressure, but that proved too little too late.“Some of these lads are still young and they need to learn that we need to start at minute one and concentrate for 90 minutes.“We have seen how we can play when we move the ball and we have urgency and tempo in our play but we brought that far too late, it’s another lesson for these lads.”Faulkner added: “After games like this I prefer to look at the positives, one of them would be that we have been able to blood another 17-year-old who is showing good promise in training.“Maybe on another day we get something out of the game but it just wasn’t to be.“We have come off the back of three good results which on reflection could have yielded four points more.“It`s early days and I think a lot of teams are finding their level, all credit to Swanage they did the job they had to, they look like they are putting a handy side together.“The frustration for us is that we’ve not played anywhere near what we are capable of to really test them for 90 minutes.”Faulkner’s men host Dorchester Sports today (3pm).Blues: Hadley, Hill, Camp, Tennant, Ty Butcher, Preston, Ryan, Garbutt, Borthwick, M Roche, To Butcher (Barrell). Sub not used: Joe Adkins

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