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Tuesday 01st September 2020

PORTLAND United exited the FA Cup at the extra preliminary round stage despite enjoying the better chances in a 1-0 loss to Clevedon Town at the Weyline Stadium.

Amid excellent COVID-safe procedures laid on by the tireless volunteers at Portland, the islanders repaid the home faithful with a good performance after Friday’s 14-1 humiliation to Poole.

Clevedon did settle the quicker, Mitch Osmond curling a 25-yard free-kick just wide of flawless debutant keeper Josh Lucas’ left-hand post before the goalkeeper saved well from Glen Hayer.

Jamie Beasley saw a free-kick creep into the gloves of away stopper Harley Wilkinson as the Blues began to find their passing rhythm.

Midway through the half, niggly fouls led to scrappy passages of play as Lewis Whyton and Ryan McKechnie were booked for late tackles before the break.

After both teams held their team-talks on the pitch due to COVID-safe protocols, Portland started the second half the brighter.

Beasley dragged a shot across goal and, when Alex Halloran was felled in the second phase, Shaun Bessant headed just wide from the resultant free-kick.

Just past the hour, Clevedon took the lead from the spot as Bessant was adjudged to have fouled Osmond, the midfielder stepping up to score as Lucas went the wrong way.

Panesar-Dower responded by curling at Wilkinson from 20 yards, before Whyton was denied by a fabulous block tackle after Wilkinson parried a fierce Beasley drive.

Beasley then wasted the best chance of the game in a dramatic finish.

Harry Hutchinson’s searching cross found McKechnie and his touch back for Beasley saw the winger twist and turn before shooting centimetres wide to the agony of the home crowd.

Portland threw Lucas up for a late corner but Clevedon cleared as the hosts saw out the win.

Speaking to Echosport, boss Callum Brooks said: “I thought right up until the last minute we might score.

“We worked a lot on our defensive shape since Friday, which showed. We’re a group in transition and I thought the best team didn’t get a result, but that’s football.

“If we play with that discipline and energy throughout the season, we’ll be more than OK.”

On debutant keeper Lucas, Brooks added: "It's probably the biggest game he's ever played in and I thought he was fantastic - he didn't put a foot wrong.

"He got the phonecall (Monday) night and I wanted him to turn up and embrace it like a number one."

Team Lineup & Stats

No Player Yellow Cards Red Cards Assists Goals
1 Lucas, Josh 0 0 0 0
2 McKechnie, Ryan 0 0 0 0
3 Hutchinson, Harry 0 0 0 0
4 Halloran, Alex 0 0 0 0
6 Clarke, Sam 0 0 0 0
7 Morris, Ben 0 0 0 0
8 Williams, Josh 0 0 0 0
9 Whyton, Lewis 0 0 0 0
12 Godfrey, Alex 0 0 0 0
Unused Substitutes
14 Howell, Josh 0 0 0 0
15 Coombs, Jacob 0 0 0 0