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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

Chairman hails volunteers

Tuesday 13 Apr 2021

EXTENSIVE work is under way to renovate Portland United’s Camp and Satherley Stadium. The Blues, who opted out of a mini league in the wake of the coronavirus-hit season, have capitalised on the absence of games. Sitting on the halfway line, the Butch Nash stand will receive a new roof, purloins and seating. A metal staircase has been installed leading from the bar to pitchside, while care of the playing surface has also begun. Blues’ chairman Matt Lucas told Echosport: “The pitch is being reseeded and prepared early. “We made a club decision that we weren’t going to engage in any organised cup competition and would bring the players back to get them working together. “And, perhaps do a few inter-club activities to get a head start on the work that’s going on this week. “Also, with regards to developing the Butch Nash stand it’s lovely to see the volunteers working so hard there and Darren and Lewis Whyton, who’ve worked tirelessly at the club.”

FA to invite 110 clubs for promotion in non-League restructure

Sunday 11 Apr 2021

THE FA will invite 110 clubs at Steps 5-7 for promotion under the planned restructure of non-League football. Relevant officials have met and will recommend the changes to the FA Council in order to 'address the imbalance that currently exists and achieve the 'pure pyramid' at Steps 1-6.' Under the restructure, one additional division at Step 4 will be added to the Northern Premier League. Two new tiers will be administered at Step 5 by the United Counties League and Combined Counties League. Step 6 will therefore have 17 divisions instead of 20 from next season. In total, 20 clubs will be promoted from Step 5 and 60 teams from Step 6 - comprised of 20 to backfill those promoted and 40 to divide between the two fresh tiers. Thirty clubs will be chosen for promotion to Step 6 from regional feeder leagues, such as the Dorset Premier League. Teams eligible for promotion will be decided by an unweighted points per game model, taking in combined results from the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. It will not be mandatory for clubs to apply for promotion when invited. The FA said: "The top three ranked clubs from each of the North West Counties League, Northern Counties East League and Northern League, along with the top ranked club from the remaining 11 Step 5 divisions, will be considered eligible for upward movement to Step 4 and will be invited to make an application to do so. "Multiple clubs will be upwardly moved from these specific leagues, as per the previous ratification by FA Council, in order to address specific challenges with travelling distance and time which exist at Step 4. "The top two ranked clubs in each of the South West Peninsula League divisions, along with the top three ranked clubs from the 18 remaining Step 6 divisions, will be considered eligible for upward movement to Step 5 and will be invited to make an application for upward movement. "Fewer clubs will be upwardly moved from the South West Peninsula League Divisions, as per the previous ratification by FA Council, on the basis of geographical reasons for the relevant divisions at Step 5." Lastly, Step 6 leagues and relevant feeder leagues will liaise to decide the 30 promoted clubs from Step 7.

Portland United to resume training on Saturday

Thursday 01 Apr 2021

PORTLAND United will lay on six training sessions from Saturday before commencing preparations for the 2021/22 season. Franklyn Clarke’s Blues will train three times in April and on three occasions in May, including a final workout on Saturday, May 29. The islanders saw their Sydenhams Wessex League campaign curtailed by the FA in March, and opted against playing in a replacement cup tournament. Following the six training sessions, Portland will take June off and begin pre-season in July. As with Dorchester Town, none of the Blues’ squad will be paid for coming in to train. Clarke told Echosport: “We’ve got the lads in three times in April and three times in May. “It’s just to get everyone back together again. We’ve got the first team, the reserves and the under-18s. “We want to create that pathway and it’ll give me a good chance to look at the younger lads that we’ve got coming through.” Portland boss Clarke explained there will be no friendlies for the Blues in Spring, but did reveal pre-season’s warm-up matches are already organised. “It’s just training for the time being,” he confirmed. “We’ve got some fixtures arranged for pre-season pretty much sorted. “We’ll have a rest before we come back. We’ll train on the 3rd, 10th and the 24th (of April) and the 1st, 8th and 29th (of May). “Everyone’s missed it and they’re dead keen to come in. “It’s important for us, where we’re a new group, to come in for the next two months before pre-season for everyone to get to know each other that bit more. “It will help us progress.”

Blues 'unanimously' opt out of potential cup

Monday 08 Mar 2021

PORTLAND United's season is officially over after the Blues "unanimously" decided against entering a potential new cup competition. With the FA curtailing league fixtures in Steps 3-6, the Wessex League is looking into creating a new cup to fill the void. But Portland, who announced Matt Lucas as chairman on Friday, will instead save funds to complete ground maintenance in time for the 2021/22 campaign - their centenary year. The Blues also cited uncertainty over the return of fans, which has been mooted as a possibility, but not confirmed during stage three of lockdown easing on May 17. "The club has unanimously decided that we will not be taking part in any supplementary cup competitions proposed by the leagues," a statement read. "Apart from no firm news when spectators will be allowed into grounds, we would like to concentrate on getting the ground maintenance done early. "Also (to) carry out necessary work to the ground so that we can start our pre-season early as it is our centenary year. We are working on various events to mark this occasion. "Hopefully we can look forward to a normal build-up to the start of the season and to be able to welcome our faithful supporters back to the ground." Portland are also building for the future on the pitch, with a number of exciting young players brought in by boss Franklyn Clarke and assistant Sam Poole.

Portland appoint ex-Dorchester chief Matt Lucas as chairman

Friday 05 Mar 2021

PORTLAND United have named Matt Lucas as the club's new chairman. Lucas, who served as Dorchester Town chief from 2014 to 2019, succeeds Blues' legend Robin Satherley as chairman. Lucas stepped down from Dorchester's board in September last year and has been a regular at Portland games since, supporting son and goalkeeper Josh. Gary Bailey, who had been acting chairman since Satherley retired last year, said Lucas brings "a wealth of experience" to the role. Bailey addedL "It’s a fantastic appointment for the club; Matt brings a wealth of experience to this role. "He has an extensive knowledge of non-league football and what is needed both on and off the field to run a club successfully. “He has been involved with the club for most of this season as a supporter and has also been helping out in a committee role. "It’s plain to see he has a real passion for football at this level and an enthusiasm that is infectious. “After we had approached Matt and spoken to him about the prospect of him becoming chairman, it really was an easy decision for us to make”. “We have some exciting plans in the pipeline and although unfortunately there hasn’t been any action on the pitch recently, plenty of hard work has been going on behind the scenes. "I and the rest of our hard-working committee are very much looking forward to continuing to take the club forward under Matt’s stewardship."

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