Portland crash out of cup

Thursday 17th September 2020

WHITCHURCH UNITED 3

PORTLAND UNITED 1

PORTLAND United crashed out of the Sydenhams Wessex League Cup first round with a 3-1 loss at Whitchurch United.

Going into the game, boss Callum Brooks stated his belief the tie was one the Blues “should win” but, after leading, Portland fell victim to a stirring comeback from the Jam Boys.

Portland took the lead against their Wessex Division One opponents in the first half as Ryan McKechnie converted a corner.

A nasty suspected broken leg for Whitchurch forward Matt Hawkes marred the contest, but the underdogs responded in brilliant fashion as Ryan Long equalised before half-time.

Portland enjoyed good possession and territory in the second half but once more lacked a cutting edge – and the Jam Boys capitalised.

Aaron Randall cut inside to fire home from 20 yards past keeper Josh Lucas before George Bishop finished a rapid counter-attack as the Blues piled forward late on.

“We should’ve had a decent result,” Brooks told Echosport. “We had long periods of real control in the first half and cutting them open at will.

“We just lack that ruthless streak at the moment. Most games if you go 2-0 you’re home and dry and have an easier night.

“They’re never easy going to teams in the cup a league lower because they desperately try and turn you over.

“When you’re on top you need to capitalise and we didn’t do that, then it leaves you vulnerable.”

Brooks added: “I feel for (Hawkes) more than I feel for us losing a game of football.

“The stoppage certainly didn’t help us but the last 17 minutes of the half we were fantastic. We had one shot on our goal and it went in.

“We had to do more second half. For all our spells, I don’t think their keeper’s made a save.

“They went 2-1 up and we chased the game. The last goal can happen – by that time we’ve got nine up front.”

Blues: Lucas, McKechnie, Hutchinson, Halloran, Bessant, Clarke, Morris, Williams, Batista, Panesar-Dower, Whyton.

Subs: Howell, Camp, Ryan.

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