Cruel late defeat to Hamworthy

Wednesday 21st October 2020

PORTLAND UNITED 1
Hankin 13

HAMWORTHY UNITED 2
Cann 35, 90+2

BATTLING Portland United suffered a heart-wrenching stoppage-time loss as Hamworthy United came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

Playing in front of 156 spectators at the Camp & Satherley Stadium, a young and tenacious Blues’ side came so close to an heroic point against the unbeaten Hammers.

Louis Hankin nodded Portland ahead before Dan Cann swept home a fine counter to equalise. Hamworthy seemed rattled by the hard-working Blues until the 92nd minute when Cann snuck in to beat keeper Steve Boore to a through ball and find the empty net.

Defeat was harsh on Portland, deserving a point from a game which began with an impeccably-served minute’s silence for Hamworthy chairman Steve Harvey, who sadly lost his battle with cancer last week.

Coming into the clash off the back of an 8-1 reverse at Cowes, Portland were tested early on as Hamworthy settled quickly.

Ed Hodge beat the Blues’ offside trap to run through on goal, only to drag his shot well wide of goal.

New signing Boore needed lengthy treatment for a rib injury after a painful collision at a corner and Portland scored soon after play resumed.

Ben Morris was the catalyst, his fierce drive tipped onto the bar by former Dorchester keeper Shane Murphy and out for a corner.

Portland worked the set-piece well and Josh Williams’ deep cross to the back post was met by the head of Hankin, who found the net via a deflection.

Cann had a goal ruled out for offside as Hamworthy pushed for an equaliser before Portland’s Oli Lowes sliced wide from 25 yards.

As Portland became more adventurous in search of a second, the Hammers hit the islanders on the break.

Matt Neale surged down the left and crossed for Cann, the striker arriving undetected into the box to plant a firm finish past the stationary Boore from 12 yards.

Hamworthy began the second half brightly and Boore had to claw a goalbound effort away before repelling a venomous strike from Hammers’ captain Lee Francis.

Lowes went close with a drilled shot after his initial free-kick was blocked before Morris fired over and Williams struck directly at Murphy as Portland pressed for a winner.

Franklyn Clarke’s men rode their luck as Connor Cocklin’s header was blocked on the line and the centre-back was later sin-binned for dissent by referee Jade Wardle.

Portland were three minutes away from a brilliant point when the wily Cann nipped in front of Boore 25 yards out to sweep up a loose ball and roll home, sending the Hammers’ bench into ecstasy and deflating the Blues.

Portland travel to Tadley Calleva in league action on Saturday (3pm).

Blues: Boore, Toland, Hutchinson, Hankin, Poole, S Buckler (Smith 59), Williams, McKechnie, Hewitt (Hanratty 59), Morris, Lowes.

Subs not used: Lucas, Riley, Coombs.

Attendance: 156

Referee: Jade Wardle

Match sponsor: Tony Pidgley

Match ball sponsor: Richard Hurring

Report courtesy of Neil Walton @ The Dorset Echo

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