STUNNING strikes from Liam Gould and Steve Churchill saw Portland United Reserves chalk up a third successive victory at Hardings Lane.

Gould opened the scoring after just 25 seconds by driving the ball into the bottom corner of the net from 25 yards as the Blues took control from the outset.

The Gillingham Town keeper then pulled off two great saves to deny Charlie May and Dan Sidwell before Churchill let fly with another effort from range to double the advantage midway through the first half.

The hosts did go on to put up more of a fight the longer the game continued but United stood firm to cut the deficit on league leaders Mere Town to just three points.

Blues’ boss Lee Clarke said: “Liam put us in front with a great strike after just 25 seconds and that gave us a lot of confidence.

“Their keeper then made a couple of fine stops before Steve grabbed the second as we pretty much dominated the whole of the first half.

“They only really threatened from set-pieces but with a couple of knocks in the camp at half-time we knew it would be different in the second half and so it proved.

“They raised their game and at times it was a bit of an uphill struggle for us but in the end we held on for what was a fantastic victory.”

Clarke was particularly imp-ressed by his back four. He added: “They were tremendous. We had two young lads in there in Jordan Spencley and George Preston and two more experienced lads in Brendan Kelly and Dan Skelton, and they gave us that solid base we needed throughout.

“Steve Churchill was also tremendous in the midfield and to go there and come away with a 2-0 victory was very pleasing indeed.”

Blues: Bickerstaff, Preston, Spencley, Kelly, D Skelton, Boatswain, Churchill, Gould (Mutch 70), Reader, Sidwell (King 85), May.