Football: Portland's six of the best after Swans crushed

AT THE DOUBLE: Adam Linaker

AT THE DOUBLE: Adam Linaker

First published in Sport

SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 0 PORTLAND UNITED 5

PORTLAND United romped to their sixth straight win in the Dorset Premier League, helped mainly by a first-half demolition of Swanage Town & Herston.

A four-goal blast in the opening period followed by one more strike after half-time put the Blues back on the top spot with ease at Days Park.

After Ed Bastic hit the bar in the opening 30 seconds, goals for Ryan McKechnie, Alex Halloran, Ross Doidge and two for Adam Linaker secured a straight forward triumph, meaning boss Gary Bailey’s charges still possess a 100 per cent record in the division.

“In the first half we were really on it and blew them away,” Bailey told Echosport.

“We played some really good football in windy and rainy conditions, slipped the ball around really nicely and, to be honest, they couldn’t live with us in the first half.

“Ashley Smith had an excellent game at right-back and it was one of the best displays I have seen for a long time. He was really comfortable, covered the ground well and got forward when he could, he was excellent.”

Bailey believes his side’s strong run of form is partly down to competition for starting spots within the squad.

He added: “I don’t look around my dressing room at the moment and think anyone is a certainty to start.

“We strengthened in the summer and everyone needs to know that they are an important member of the first team and that will continue as we get through the season.”

Blues: Carroll, Smith, Bessant (May 60), Carmichael, Reader (B Doidge 55), Mutch, Halloran, R Doidge, McKechnie, Linaker, Bastic (Price 70).

The Blues’ boss will now prepare his squad to host Wareham Rangers at Grove Corner tomorrow (3pm).

Portland will be without Alex Halloran, but will welcome back Lewis Clarke into the squad.

Bailey added: “It’s the old cliché but we take every game as it comes, nobody is getting ahead of themselves and I certainly won’t allow that to happen.

“We know if we turn up and we play well we will be tough to beat but there is always a potential banana skin around the corner and we are not going to put any pressure on ourselves.

“As long as we can keep the run going we will be delighted, confidence is high at the moment but it’s important we keep approaching these games in the right manner.”

Match ball sponsor: Alan Gough

Mascot: Gregor Norster

Match day programme sponsor: Lomand Homes

Elsewhere in the league, Weymouth Reserves host Poole Borough at the Bob Lucas Stadium and Bridport Reserves take on Blandford United at St Mary’s Field (both 3pm).

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