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Blandford United 9 Portland United Res 1

Saturday 05th September 2020

Portland United Reserves opened up their season with a heavy defeat to Blandford United on Saturday which left Portland manager Justin Faulkner feeling this side is `cursed` when it comes to opening day fixtures.

The Royals went ahead after 9 minutes before The Blues were denied what seemed an obvious penalty as Sol Roche was chopped down as he was coming on to a low cross in to the box before Caleb Tennant saw his header from a corner go straight to the goalkeeper.

Blandford increased their lead after as Tennant was caught in possession which lead to the Royals 2nd before adding their 3rd of the match with a quick counter attack.

Worse was to follow for Portland as Tennant was forced off with an injury with Portland having to patch up their backline.

On the half an hour mark Lance Wilson latched on to a poor clearance from Blandfords keeper but his 30 yard effort fell agonisingly on to the roof of the net before Josh Camp and Sol Roche seen their efforts go wide of the Royals goal. The Blues were punished for these missed chances as Blandford added a 4th with a quick counter attack to give Blandford a 4 goal lead at half time.

The second half started with another good Portland chance with Aaron Ryan unable to direct his header on goal before the Blandford keeper made an incredible save from Manny Roches fierce drive which looked destined for the top corner.

Blandford added a 5th on 55 minutes before the visitors fired wide of the mark again but The Blues were caught in possession again trying to play from the back on 61 minutes this time Ross Pettitt was dispossessed which led to a goal.

Portland did pull a goal back on 66 minutes as Aaron Ryans drive was too hot to handle for the home stopper with the ball ending up in the home net but any thoughts of giving the score line an air of respectability was extinguished 6 minutes later as The Royals scored with a direct free kick in off the post.

The Royals added their 8th on 79 minutes as a ball in behind was converted which was then followed by Blandfords 9th as their striker reacted quicker to a rebound off the keeper to slot their 9th goal of the game.

In the last 5 minutes Portland exerted some pressure with some corners and a free kick on the edge of the Blandford area but could not add to their solitary goal with the game having long been won.

Looking back at the game Portland United Reserves manager Justin Faulkner commented "That was a pretty bad day at the office for us, we have played nothing like what we have seen in training and pre season games, we are far better than what we have showed today. I think this side is cursed when it comes to opening day fixtures as the past 3 years have been 8-1, 10-1 and now 9-1."

"Our preparations for the game weren`t great this week, we had a few missing due to unavailability and we lost our keeper to the 1st team on Friday morning. We`ve given them 2 or 3 goals with individual mistakes and I know the keeper feels he should have saved a couple and he was disappointed with his performance. But as I say to the players we win as a team and we lose as a team, I am definitely not one for digging out players or pointing the finger, there is just no point to that."

"We go again next week, this result will have hurt a few players in that dressing room, it certainly does sting me and doesn`t reflect the ability in this team or the quality at all. If you look at it philosophically we have had 4 or 5 good chances and they have scored goals from our mistakes, it could have been 5 all. We just need to forget about this one, learn from it and get our season underway next week when we have a chance to put it right."

Team Lineup & Stats

No Player Yellow Cards Red Cards Assists Goals
1 Spann, Craig 0 0 0 0
2 Diaz, Adam 0 0 1 0
3 Riley, Dylan 0 0 0 0
4 Tennant, Caleb 0 0 0 0
5 Pettitt, Ross 0 0 0 0
6 Garbutt, Tomus 0 0 0 0
7 Ryan, Aaron 0 0 0 1
8 Roche, Manny 0 0 0 0
9 Roche, Sol 0 0 0 0
10 Wilson, Lance 0 0 0 0
11 Camp, Josh 0 0 0 0
12 Butcher, Tom 0 0 0 0
15 Carter, George 0 0 0 0
Unused Substitutes
14 Butcher, Tyler 0 0 0 0