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Saturday 26th September 2020

PORTLAND United suffered a heavy 8-2 loss at Fareham Town as the Blues continued to struggle in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

While new league leaders Fareham deserved to win, the scoreline flattered the Creeksiders as Portland were level at 2-2 early in the second half.

Upheaval dominated proceedings at Portland this week, with manager Callum Brooks resigning and experienced defender Shaun Bessant following several of his teammates out of the door.

Blues favourite Gary Bailey and coach Mark Carter have stepped in while the search for Brooks’ successor continues – and the duo would have been encouraged by the first hour of play.

Portland’s youthful side were outfoxed by Fareham early on as the hosts took a 2-0 lead when Tom Settle’s free-kick drifted into the far corner and Callum Benfield headed home.

Fareham were dominant but the islanders halved the deficit with a fine move to set Josh Camp free on goal, the youngster then steering past Josh Kempson.

After half-time, Portland repeated the trick, unleashing Eder Batista to beat Kempson and draw the sides level.

However, Josh Benfield scored a quick double for 4-2 before Portland’s Ben Morris hesitated to miss an open goal as the covering defender got back to make a sensational block.

From there the floodgates opened as Josh Benfield completed his hat-trick and Luke Slade added Fareham’s sixth.

Casey Bartlett-Scott made it 7-2 before Charlie Cooper sealed the rout following a cutting exchange with Slade.

Speaking to Echosport, interim boss Bailey felt the scoreline was deceptive.

He said: “I can’t say we didn’t deserve to lose the game because when you ship eight goals you deserve to lose.

“My honest opinion is that I feel for the lads because it wasn’t an 8-2 game.

“It’s not blind loyalty or trying to paper over the cracks.

“Individual performances didn’t warrant to be on the end of an 8-2 scoreline. Fareham were clinical and punished us when we made mistakes.

“We have to collectively and individually take responsibility for those errors. They’re not glaring errors, they’re just misplaced passes or poor judgement in critical times.

“It’s down to the players to find a way and learn from this. Football gives you some tough lessons and harsh realities.

“We’ve had a tough week and it certainly wasn’t from lack of effort, the result wasn’t a case of the lads throwing it in or not trying.

“There was some poor decision-making and application at times. We got royally punished by a sharp Fareham team.

“But, for an hour, we were more than in the game.”

Blues: Lucas, Diaz, Hutchinson (Coombs 65), Hankin, Tennant, Williams, Morris, McKechnie, Batista, Panesar-Dower, Camp (Carter 75). Sub not used: Spiteri

Team Lineup & Stats

No Player Yellow Cards Red Cards Assists Goals
1 Lucas, Josh 0 0 0 0
2 Diaz, Adam 0 0 0 0
3 Hutchinson, Harry 0 0 0 0
4 Hankin, Louis 0 0 0 0
5 Tennant, Caleb 0 0 0 0
6 Williams, Josh 0 0 0 0
7 Morris, Ben 0 0 0 0
8 McKechnie, Ryan 0 0 0 0
11 Camp, Josh 0 0 0 1
12 Coombs, Jacob 0 0 0 0
14 Carter, George 0 0 0 0