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Sherborne win over Reserves

Tuesday 22 Dec 2020

PORTLAND UNITED RES 0 SHERBORNE TOWN RES 3 PORTLAND United Reserves have found life difficult in the Dorset Premier League since lockdown and it was the same story for the Blues as a strengthened Sherborne Town Reserves won 3-0 at the Camp & Satherley Stadium. Incredibly, the drop-off in form since the shutdown has been stark, Justin Faulkner’s men losing all three of their games and this clash representing only the second game of the campaign where they were unable to find the back of the opposition’s net. As it was, the Zebras rattled in three goals as winger Dec Cornish, who has turned out for Bridport this season, Steve Burton and Nick Jacobs all got on the scoresheet. Reflecting on the game, Faulkner said: “It was a really bad day at the office, we didn’t get out of the changing rooms for 70-odd minutes of the game and it appeared we were just going through the motions, to be honest. “We didn’t play well at all or to any acceptable level that is required to be in this league or even at a club like Portland.” Faulkner added: “Being a reserve side they are always likely to strengthen as we are entitled to do. “With what is going on at the moment and leagues effectively closing down it is causing all these odd results with Southern (League) players dropping into the Wessex or Western League and (vice versa); it is a knock-on effect. “I don’t see that stopping any time soon either and I can’t see the leagues even finishing if we are subject to another lockdown. “Going from credible results like what we seen for the four games since the opening day of the season to racking up three straight defeats is very disappointing and really makes it tough for us to climb the league as we are getting cut adrift from the top 10. “We will continue to develop this group of players and once we adjust to the way the club want to play I’m sure the results will come. “Confidence is low at the moment and that is my job to pick them up after each defeat. We didn’t give up and will fight on.” Blues’ Reserves: Hadley, Hill, Riley, Tennant (Tyler Butcher), G Carter, Evans, Barrell (Garbutt), Wilson, Ryan, Read, Tom Butcher (Diaz). Sub not used: James.

Blues see league fixtures suspended

Tuesday 22 Dec 2020

PORTLAND United have seen their fixtures paused until January after Wessex League officials suspended competitive action. Franklyn Clarke's Blues will not play until Tuesday, January 18 at the earliest, pending a review taking into account government and FA guidelines. League Cup games are also frozen with some teams in the division located in Tier 4 areas. Wessex League officials admitted the decision was "difficult" to administer. "With three clubs, a number of club officials, players and match officials based in tier four, there are concerns with the health and welfare of everyone involved in our league." they said in a statement. "Additionally, travel in and out of different tiers could be problematic. "All clubs were asked if they were in favour of postponing, or continuing with fixtures during these difficult times. "The majority of clubs answered that they were in favour of postponing - six clubs wished to continue with fixtures. "The subject was discussed during last night's board meeting. "The board made the difficult decision to postpone league and League Cup fixtures. "This decision will be reviewed on January 18, however that may change subject to further announcements from the government, DCMS and the FA. "The break from playing fixtures provides clubs with the opportunity to review and update their risk assessments if appropriate, revisit the Covid-19 regulations and remind management teams and squads of their responsibilities, individually and collectively." The decision raises questions over whether the season will finish as planned. Other leagues, such as the Southern League, are currently suspended while the Western League has only just ended a break in matches. Portland will miss five games through the festive and New Year period: Christchurch, Blackfield & Langley, Bournemouth Poppies, Bashley and Fareham.

Clarke rues lapse in focus

Monday 21 Dec 2020

PORTLAND United boss Franklyn Clarke rued a costly spell in the second half as Lymington punished the Blues for losing focus in a 2-0 Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division loss. Title-chasing Lymington have now kept 10 clean sheets in 12 games, winning 11, while the islanders sit 18th. Goals from Owen Fee and debutant Toby Bailey gave the Linnets victory, while former Weymouth centre-back Jordan Rose made his debut for the Hampshire team. Clarke felt his players had “switched off” but backed the islanders to improve and earn results. He told Echosport: “It was much better, but there was a spell of five minutes in the game where they had two moments and they punished us. “Apart from that, for 85 minutes it was a really good performance. “We’re trying to learn as a group to manage those moments better when it goes against us or when we go behind – not to let it have a huge effect on us and stay in games longer. “The last 20 minutes we were on the front foot and looked like we were going to score. “The first half we had a couple of decent chances where if we take them it’s a different game. “It’s much better and I’m happy with the response (to the 5-1 loss at Shaftesbury).” But Clarke was realistic about the Blues’ 11th defeat of the campaign. “I’m not getting carried away, it was another defeat and we conceded two, but the improvements are there to see. “There’s improvements in them taking information on board, the performance, the attitude is still spot on like it always has been. “We’re getting there. It was never going to be a quick fix, it’s going to take time, but we’re moving in the right direction. “It’s just concentration and maintaining it for 90 minutes. As soon as we start doing that, we’ll start winning games. “I can’t complain too much, it was just a five-minute spell that’s cost us that game – we just switched off.”

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