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Saturday 03rd October 2020

PORTLAND United’s young side fought hard against much-fancied AFC Portchester but lost out 3-0 at home in their drenched Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division meeting.

Still beset by injuries and player exits, Portland’s players gave an improved performance after last week’s 8-2 drubbing at Fareham Town.

Dom Panesar-Dower and Eder Batista were the latest senior names to leave the Blues in midweek. Following an immaculate minute’s silence for Kyle Spence, Gary Bailey’s Blues conjured the first big opening against Portchy.

Manny Roche pounced on a deflected shot and dashed clean through, only to be denied by a fabulous save from Brad Snelling in the fifth minute.

Amid terrible conditions, Portchester were unlucky not to go ahead when Rudy Plummer weaved his way between two defenders and crashed a shot against the post.

The importance of Snelling’s earlier stop was underlined in the 14th minute when Portchester went ahead, Lee Wort racing onto a cutting through ball before beating Josh Lucas with a cheeky finish for 1-0.

Portchester doubled their lead 13 minutes later when Plummer worked some space and crossed for Wort to clinch his brace.

Portland showed admirable application in attempting to reduce their deficit, but too often their final pass went astray in promising positions.

Sol Roche, playing up top, worked tirelessly but Portchester were able to add a late third after Lucas conceded a penalty for bringing down an attacker in the penalty area.

Wort stepped up with eight minutes to go and completed his hat-trick, handing Portchy their third victory in four games and leaving Portland in 19th place.

Speaking to Echosport, interim boss Gary Bailey praised the Blues for their desire despite a fourth loss in five league matches.

He said: “I’ve got nothing but positives to say about the performance, other than the result.

“Obviously it’s a result business so we’re disappointed we’ve lost – it’s no-one’s intention to lose.

“Other than that the application and the way the players stuck to their task, did the jobs we asked them to, worked hard for each other and applied themselves I can’t speak highly enough of.

“All 15 of them were a credit to me and the football club as a whole.

“(The team) was more inexperienced than last week.

“They all played their part and it’s fine margins again. We got ourselves in some good positions in the second half especially.

“Just that lack of final ball or decision making in front of goal, not getting the shot away, was the difference.”

Blues: Lucas, Diaz, Hutchinson, Hankin, Tennant (Carter 55), Williams (Read 46), Morris, McKechnie, S Roche, M Roche, Camp (Riley 70). Subs not used: Coombs, Whyton

Match ball sponsors: Dave and Kate Sanderson

Attendance: 107

By Neil Walton

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
9 Roche, Sol 0 0 0 0
10 Roche, Manny 0 0 0 0
11 Camp, Josh 0 0 0 0
14 Read, Jacob 0 0 0 0
Unused Substitutes
12 Coombs, Jacob 0 0 0 0
15 Riley, Dylan 0 0 0 0
16 Carter, George 0 0 0 0