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Portland boss Chris Wilson staying cool over title chances
PARLEY SPORTS 3 PORTLAND UNITED 2
CHRIS Wilson brushed off this shock defeat at Parley Sports by insisting the Blues’ quest for the title is still very much in their own hands.
Unbeaten in nine games ahead of kick-off, Portland appeared to have this Magna Dorset Premier League contest wrapped up leading 2-0 at half-time, but the hosts pulled off a remarkable comeback despite playing the last 15 minutes with just 10 men after one of their players picked up a second booking.
Carl Mutch put United ahead and Ross Doidge added the second from the penalty spot following a foul on Mitch Conning, before a brace from Matt Newbery and a strike from Kane Andrews left the visitors completely dumbfounded.
Despite the defeat the islanders are still only four points adrift of leaders Holt United with three games in hand, but the slip up did allow Wincanton Town to gain ground in third, where they now sit just one point behind the Blues having played the same amount of matches.
Wilson told Echosport: “It was a real Jekyll and Hyde performance but we have still got plenty of quality in the side and we are still in the driving seat.
“We did a lot of good things in the game but it was not a 90-minute performance and unfortunately it ended up costing us.
“However, we have got three games in seven days coming up and if we can get positive results in all of those we will put ourselves in a good position.
“We have also got to go to Wincanton and Holt yet, so it is still very much in our own hands.”
Analysing the loss in more detail, Wilson added: “We were 2-0 up at half-time having played some of the best football we have produced for a while.
“In fact, we probably should have been four or five up on the amount of chances we created and had you left the game at half-time and heard the end result later on, you would not have understood it.
“There were two or three culminating factors within that.
“At half-time we warned the players that Parley could only go up a gear but unfortunately we just didn’t deal with that, and with the pitch cutting up really badly in the second half and becoming more of a leveller, we found ourselves struggling a bit.
“Their first goal was also offside, which the linesman apologised for afterwards, and their third came in the final minute after a clear foul on Lewis Whyton, but these things happen in football and I am certainly not going to use that as an excuse.
“You make your own luck in football and we have certainly had the rub of the green on occasions too.”
He went on to say: “At the start of the second half Parley had nothing to lose and really threw the kitchen sink at it, and teams are going to do that against us, particularly the ones in mid-table with nothing left to really play for.
“We have got to deal with that and at the same time also handle our very own expectations of what we want to get out of this season.
“We need to look within now and as I have said many times before these players are fully aware of what they need to do.
“Many of them are experienced players at this level and I don’t need me to tell them where they went wrong.
“I also have no doubts they will come up with an immediate response.”
Portland will host Tintinhull and Poole Borough respectively the next two Saturdays with an away trip to Swanage Town & Heston sandwiched in between next Wednesday.
Blues: Bickerstaff, Newnham, Henley, Whyton, Carmichael, Smith, Conning, Doidge (Skelton 65), Halloran, Mutch (Maxted 75), Linaker (McKechnie 60).
Meanwhile, Bridport Reserves are in action tomorrow tonight at home to Swanage Town & Herston (7.45pm).