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History

 Nigel Biddlecombe’s ‘A History of Weymouth FC’ mentions ‘The Blues’ as early as 1902/03 when the club was referred to as Portland and Grove and they were also called that in 1905/06.  (In 1904/05 we were just mentioned as Portland.)  1906/07 we were then Portland Prison Officers.  In 1910/11 there was reference to Portland Prison Officers and Utd. 
 
In 1907/8 a combined team entered the FA Cup under the name 'Portland Prison Officers and Portland United'.  They were exempt from the preliminary and 1st qualifying round and were drawn in the 2nd QR to Longfleet St Marys.  The game was played on 19 October 1907 in Poole (probably at Eastlake) and the score was 2 - 2. The replay resulted in a 3 - 1 win for Portland.  In the 3rd QR they were drawn at home to Whiteheads and lost 0 - 2 (2 November 1907).  They entered again the following year and also in 1909/10. There were then two more seasons when the Prison Officers part of the team did not play.
 
1912/13 saw the first reference of Portland Utd! 
 
After that, the next entry was after the war when the club reformed in 1921 playing at Grove Corner and in 1925 joined the Western League Division Two.  Although winning this division twice before World War II, the club never achieved promotion to Division one.  They regularly played in front of crowds of two and three thousand – a period when they were virtually unbeatable at their Grove Corner ground.  During this period, the club won the Dorset Senior Cup on four occasions and the Dorset Amateur Cup three times. 
 
Following World War II, the club turned semi-professional and re-joined Division One of the Western League, where they remained for the next 24 seasons.  During this time the ‘Blues’ lifted the Dorset Senior Cup a further six times.  The record attendance at Grove Corner was set in January 1949 when 4,127 watched the League match against neighbours Weymouth - which Portland won 4 - 1. 
 
One of the most successful seasons in the club’s history came in 1965/66 when they finished as runners-up in the Western League Division One and progressed to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup where they held Yeovil Town to a 1 - 1 draw at Grove Corner in front of a crowd of 3,069.  In the replay at the Huish, in front of 6,005 spectators, the ‘Blues’ were beaten 3 - 1. 
 
In 1994 the Crown decided it needed the original ground for mineral extraction and the club was provided with a new home a couple of hundred yards along the road – hence the name ‘New Grove Corner’!  The last game at the ground took place on 9 May 1994, when neighbours Weymouth were the visitors in front of a 500 plus crowd. It was however a far cry from the record attendance, set on 27 January 1949 when 4,127 saw Portland defeat Weymouth 4 - 1 in a Western League Division One match. 
 
During the winter of their first season at the new ground, the entire island of Portland had to be evacuated whilst an unexploded wartime bomb - found underneath the penalty area of their old ground - had to be defused! 
 
Although Portland did step up to the Wessex League in 2001, they struggled and returned to the DPL IN 2006 where they were very successful League winners:  2007–08, 2008–09, 2012–13 and 2013-14 and runners up in 2014/15.  They also won the Dorset Premier League cup in 2008/09 finishing as runners up on three more occasions. 
 
Portland’s promotion was approved by the Football Association in 2015 (new floodlights were installed) and Portland Utd FC were promoted, much to the delight of everyone connected with The Blues, to The Sydenhams Wessex Football League Division One. 
 
The Blues won Division One in their first season, losing just four games in the league, amassing 84 points with a +72 goal difference from 34 games.  Portland also reached the semi final of The Wessex League Cup losing to eventual winners Team Solent in extra time.  The Blues also knocked out three other Wessex Premier Division sides en route to the semi-final. Portland Utd FC's programme also received the Programme of the Season Award. 
 
The start to the 2016/17 season in the Prem Div saw Portland Utd FC win six, lose two and draw 2 - everyone supporting The Blues were looking forward to hopefully ending up in the top ten at the end of the season.  However, following an unbeaten league run of 27 league games, Portland Utd FC had everything to play for in their last match home v Bemerton Heath Harlequins - needing all three points to have a chance of winning the league.  With the game at 1 - 1 at 90 minutes it looked like The Blues would have to settle for second place - but a 95th minute goal saw the Blues clinch victory and achieve a remarkable first season in the Premier Division under Manager, Gary Bailey.  Portland Utd FC's once again received the Programme of the Season Award and Portland also topped the highest average attendance table.  
 
After four years of being in charge of The Blues, Manager, Gary Bailey, made the decision in the beginning of May 2017 to step down.  In those four years, Gary's squads had been league champions three times and runners-up on the other occasion.  Simon Browne (former Manager of Dorchester Res, Salisbury Res, Hamworthy Utd and Wimborne Town FC) was appointed to take on Gary's role. 
 
The 2017/18 season saw mixed results for Portland Utd FC First Team and following some disappointing results, it was decided to relieve Simon Browne of his duties. Gary Bailey stepped up as Interim Manager at the beginning of February 2018.  The Blues ended up in 15th place and although the attendance had dropped slightly, Portland were still second in the league attendance table.  For the third year running, Portland received the Programme of the Season Award for the Premier Div.  Gary Bailey also picked up an award for Outstanding Contribution as a Manager in Dorset at The Dorset County Football Association Awards 2018. 
 
Our Reserve team, playing in the Dorset Senior League (with Justin Faulkner in charge again), had a good season and found themselves equal second on points with Chickerell Utd First - but coming third on goal difference.  Justin’s team was duly promoted and this season is playing in the Dorset Premier League. 
 
The 2017/18 season also saw Portland A Team come under our umbrella playing in Div 1 of the Dorset League and coming 5th. 
 
At the end of the season, Gary decided that with work commitments, he would not be able to continue as Manager of the First Team but joined the committee.  Brendon King was appointed manager with Mark Carter as his assistant and Stuart Heath as coach. 

2018/19 saw The Blues start off well and were sitting at second behind eventual Champions, Sholing, at Christmas.  Unfortunately with injuries and unavailabilities, the second half of the season saw a number of unexpected losses which resulted in Portland Utd FC ending up in fourth position.   The season did not end with the league though as The Blues reached the final of The Sydenhams Wessex League Cup v Baffins Milton Rovers.  A very even and hard fought game with some heavy tackles against us resulting in three players coming off injured - two ending up in hospital (the goal keeper being one).  The only goal was scored in injury time and that was by Baffins. 
 
Justin’s Reserve side were fourth in the DPL at Christmas but with the first team short of players on so many occasions, there was a knock on affect with reserve players being called up to help Brendon’s squad and they ended up a credible eleventh.  It was good though to see so many youngsters coming through so positively - including two sixteen year olds who featured (and started) in so many first team matches).  Another knock on affect was our third team playing in Div 1 of the Dorset League who also ended up eleventh. 
 
At The Sydenhams Wessex League Presentation Evening, for the fourth year running Portland Utd FC were award the Programme of the Season Cup. 

Season 2019/20 proved to be very eventful for everyone at the club - mainly due to the pandemic which shortened the season with several unplayed games.  This resulted in no promotion or relegation.  The season as a whole saw us under achieving with the quality of players we had at the Club.  Although we did reach the semi final of the Sydenhams Wessex League Cup which should have been played v Hamble.  Another highlight was our 2nd QR of the Emirates FA Cup home v Salisbury when we had an incredible day losing 0 – 1 in front of just under 600 supporters.  A fantastic memory can be found at:  https://dbauckham.exposure.co/out-on-a-limb. 
 
The Reserve team suffered by having two Managers depart, but we were lucky to have Justin Faulkner take up the post again. 
 
Off the pitch, it proved to be a very successful year as we were faced with the prospect of either seeing out the remaining time on our lease from The Crown or purchasing the ground for £55,000.  We achieved this by the end of March mainly - through the Squares initiative, Stars board, help from The Court Leet and all the wonderful people/organisations who donated.

The ground is now owned by Portland United FC and will remain as a sporting facility for ever.
 
On a sadder note, was the decision made by our Chairman, Robin Satherley, to step down from this post, although remaining on the committee.  Robin has held this position for several years making a very good job of it. 
 
At the end of the ‘expurged’ season Brendon announced that he wished to step down from 1st team Manager and Callum Brooks was duly appointed with Reggie Carter, Stuart Heath and Lloyd Green all choosing to remain.  

Latest News

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.”

Lymington ease past United

Sunday 20 Dec 2020

LYMINGTON TOWN 2 Fee, Bailey PORTLAND UNITED 0 IMPROVED Portland United battled to a 2-0 loss at Lymington Town as the Linnets recorded their 11th win from 12 Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division games. Able to bring in former Weymouth centre-back Jordan Rose prior to the clash, the Linnets claimed a remarkable 10th clean sheet in the league this season. Lymington underlined their credentials for the title but were made to work hard for victory by the Blues, who created several chances in a goalless first half. Portland came close to beating home keeper Ross Casey when Ryan McKechnie led a three-on-two chance. The Blues’ skipper could have found a teammate but chose to drive at goal himself and was denied by a fine save from Casey. Portland, without defender Sam Buckler after a groin strain in the warm-up, rigidly kept to their shape and asked questions of Lymington, who could not break the islanders down at set-pieces. Ex-Dorchester keeper Mike Edgar, in for the injured Josh Lucas, dealt with the danger Lymington posed and instead it was the visitors who might have led. Ben Morris tested Casey from long-range and just inside the area but crucially the hosts held firm into the break. A blip in concentration cost Portland as Lymington’s Owen Fee was afforded a yard of space in the box to shift the ball out of his feet and finish past Edgar. An almost carbon copy goal arrived for debutant Toby Bailey as Portland swiftly went 2-0 down. Blues’ boss Franklyn Clarke has instilled a superb work ethic into the young Blues and, with 15 minutes to go, Lymington were firmly on the backfoot. Portland threatened from corners and Clarke himself let fly with a deflected effort that failed to test Casey, before Lymington survived a headed chance in a crowded box to see out the win. Portland next play after Christmas when Christchurch are the visitors to the Camp & Satherley Stadium on Tuesday, December 29 (7.30pm). Blues: Edgar, Lowes, Hankin, Hutchinson, Poole, F Clarke, Morris (Hanratty 80), Williams, McKechnie, Hewitt (L Clarke 55), Smith (Borthwick 50). Sub not used: Fowles Attendance: 89

Blues to fly ‘head on’ at Lymington

Friday 18 Dec 2020

PORTLAND United boss Franklyn Clarke vowed to tackle high-flying Lymington Town “head on” during their Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division scrap. Prior to Tuesday night, Lymington had won all 10 of their league games this season until Bashley upset the formbook with a 3-0 away victory. Portland are looking to pick up their first away points since an impressive 4-2 win at Hamble and Clarke knows his young side will work hard whatever the outcome. He told Echosport: “It’s a tough game, they lost (Tuesday) for the first time. “They’re a good side and it’s always been a tough place to go. It’s a difficult one but we’re going to go there and face it head on. “What we’ve got is a good honest group. “I know they’ll always work hard for me and I know what I’m going to get from them. We’ll give it our best. “What we did against Hamble just shows what we can do when we perform and the quality we have. “We scored four goals away from home, that doesn’t happen by accident – it’s because we’ve got good players.” Portland are expected to bring in a replacement goalkeeper after Josh Lucas broke a hand in the 5-1 loss at Shaftesbury in midweek. Lucas requires surgery, scheduled for today, and is the islanders’ only injury doubt. Portland currently sit in 18th of the 20 teams and could move up to 14th with three points and provided other results go their way. Lymington, meanwhile, sit third on 30 points from 11 games.

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