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FOOTBALL: Seven-up Portland close in on Terras
SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 0 PORTLAND UNITED 4
THE Blues made it seven wins on the spin in all competitions to move up to second in the Dorset Premier League and cut Weymouth Reserves’ lead at the top to a point.
Two goals from Jamie Beasley, a cracking strike by Ross Doidge, and an own goal gave Portland their 17th league victory of the campaign.
Boss Gary Bailey will be hoping for another one tomorrow when his team go to the County Ground to take on bottom side Hamwor-thy United Reserves, while Jake Richmond’s Weymouth travel to Swanage Town & Herston (both 3pm).
The Terras’ manager would like to see a repeat of Portland’s result at Days Park when he takes his men there this weekend.
After a fairly even opening to Wednesday night’s encounter, the visitors went in front on the half hour when Alex Halloran’s free-kick was flicked on by Lewis Whyton and a defender got the last touch trying to clear the ball off the line.
But the islanders didn’t have it all their own way and the hosts won a series of corners early in the second half to put the reigning league champions under some pressure.
However, a stunning 25-yard half-volley from Doidge on 65 minutes settled any Portland nerves and not long after Beasley’s cross-shot found the bottom corner.
Portland netted a fourth with 10 minutes to go, Beasley smashing home from the edge of the Swans’ box after a Doidge free-kick had rebounded off the wall.
Another three points made Bailey a happy man and, on paper at least, it should be three more tomorrow.
Commenting on the away clash at Hamworthy, he said: “You never know what you’re going to get when you go to a reserve side.
“They are having a tough season and, on league form and positions, we should go up there and take all three points.
“But games have to be won and we need to prepare properly and with the right mindset.
“Many teams have gone to places where they should have won and slipped up.
“We have no room for error now so every game is as important as the last one.”
He added: “We are confident but not over-confident. The biggest threat to us is the number of games we have to play in quick succession. I would rather have the points on the board and the games played.”
Ed Bastic returns for the Blues and Adam Linaker should be fit, but Halloran is unavailable, Dan Newnham (ankle) misses out and Lewis Clarke (hamstring) is a doubt.
Meanwhile, Bridport Reserves visit Parley Sports (3pm) with Darren Lock, Will Gape and Simon Gale back in contention.
Blues: Weeks, Smith (Gould 80), Whyton, S Clarke (Carlile 65), B Doidge, Mutch, Carmichael, R Doidge, Halloran, Beasley, McKechnie (Jansz-Baker 75).
Match-ball sponsor: Paul and Josie Butcher
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