Clarke wins debut match

Sunday 11th October 2020

PORTLAND UNITED 1
Hutchinson

AMESBURY TOWN 0

FRANKLYN Clarke collected a first win as Portland United’s new manager in his debut game as the Blues beat Amesbury Town 1-0 at the Camp & Satherley Stadium.

Clarke and assistant-manager Sam Poole were brought in from Dorchester Town to replace Callum Brooks and this result hands the duo an instant impact.

Victory – Portland’s first of the league season – came courtesy of a solo Harry Hutchinson goal midway through the second period.

Clarke and Poole, who won the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division title at Blackfield & Langley, have been tasked with setting up the Blues for the future.

Early signs look promising after a performance full of desire and application.

After both teams cancelled each other out in the first half, Portland began to shift the ball positively in the second half.

Manny Roche went close with a decent chance before a fine first touch from new signing Joel Hewitt presented him with a shooting opportunity from which he was unable to score.

Man of the match Hutchinson then starred, controlling neatly before charging into space.

Portland’s left-back still had plenty of work to do but guided a deadly finish over ex-Blues’ keeper Jordan Tewkesbury for 1-0.

Amesbury had a goal ruled out for offside and applied pressure in search of an equaliser but found home goalkeeper Josh Lucas in outstanding form, clawing away a shot on the goal line deep into normal time.

Portland held on to take a precious win, moving them into 17th.

Speaking to Echosport, Clarke was thrilled with the heart shown by his young players.

“We asked them to give everything they’ve got as a minimum,” he said.

“A good work ethic, to play for the shirt, and every single one of them did that, so we’re delighted with them.

“Obviously we’ve added a little bit of quality to that and created some good chances.

“We’re delighted to get the win and even happier for Harry. He deserved it, had a very good game and got man of the match.”

On his new role, Clarke added: “It’s a great opportunity for me and Sam to take a step into management and one we’re delighted we’ve taken.”

Portland next face a trip to the Isle of Wight to play Cowes Sports on Saturday (3pm) before hosting Hamworthy United a week on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Blues: Lucas, Coombs, Riley, Hankin, Poole, Hutchinson, Williams, McKechnie, Hewitt, S Roche (M Roche 65), Smith (Read 60). Subs not used: Whyton, Clarke, Carter.

Match sponsors: The Browne family

Match ball sponsors: The family of Kyle Spence

Story courtesy of Neil Walton @ the Dorset Echo

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