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Blues collapse frustrates Bailey
POOLE BOROUGH 3 PORTLAND UNITED 3
A SECOND-HALF collapse saw Portland United drop their first points of the season, much to the frustration of boss Gary Bailey.
The Blues appeared to be coasting to a fourth straight Bespoke Teamwear Dorset Premier League triumph when Ashley Smith, Adam Linaker and Ross Doidge, pictured, put them 3-0 up at the break.
But a contentious penalty awarded to the hosts just after the interval seemed to turn the game in Poole’s favour as they pulled it back to 3-3.
There was still time for the Blues to find a winner and they thought they had when Tom Carter headed in Alex Halloran’s free-kick in the 86th minute.
However, with the game about to restart again a linesman ruled that the set-piece hadn’t been taken from the right place despite the referee allowing Halloran to play the ball.
In the end, Portland had to take the free-kick again and Poole cleared their lines and the match ended in a draw.
Although disappointed with the official’s decision, Bailey wasn’t blaming that on his side’s inability to see the game out having had such a big lead at one stage.
“We were in complete control at half-time and then chucked it away,” he said. “Our second-half display was not what I expect from the players.
“They know they are better than that and we can’t afford to do it again – it was very disappointing.
“We didn’t really recover from the penalty they got.
“We were tentative and stopped doing what we had been in the first-half.
“Even after they had made it 3-3 we thought we had scored when Tom headed in at the far post.
“We were ready for the kick-off and for some unknown reason the linesman said that Alex had taken the free-kick about a yard away from where he should have.
“We were baffled by that and it probably would have won us the game.
“I’m not saying it cost us the three points, that was down to our second-half perform- ance, but it was a baffling decision.”
He added: “I’d spoken before the game and to the players at half-time about guarding against complacency and that came back to bite us on the bum.
“But we’ll all reflect on this result, regroup and look to put things right at Weymouth Reserves tonight (7.30pm).”
Smith had put the Blues in front on 10 minutes, capitalising on a mistake by the Poole keeper, then Linaker did exactly the same not long after.
Doidge’s strike was all his own work, turning his man on the edge of the Poole box bef- ore firing into the bottom corner a few minutes before the break.
Blues: Weeks, Carter, Whyton, Carmichael, B Doidge, Mutch (Churchill 75), Halloran, Smith, R Doidge (Bastic 60), Clarke, Linaker (Crouch 75)
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