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BLUES: Portland foiled again by Parley
PARLEY SPORTS 1 PORTLAND UNITED 1
THE Blues dropped points at Christchurch Road for the second year in a row on Saturday.
Parley Sports always seem to raise their game at home to Portland and were rewarded on this occasion with a well-earned point.
Joe Toghill put the reigning champions ahead but the hosts hit back midway through the second half following a short corner.
Lewis Whyton also struck the crossbar for the visitors but overall a draw was probably fair according to Simon Austin.
Portland’s stand-in boss told Echosport: “It was a bit of a disa-ppointing performance.
“We got off to a slow start and they had two or three shooting opportunities which Ashley Weeks did well to deal with.
“We then worked our way into the game and got a goal when Joe combined with Ed Bastick before applying a good finish.
“Despite going in at half-time 1-0 up though, we still didn’t create huge amounts and that continued in the second half.
“In fact, we looked at our most dangerous from set-pieces with Lewis having a couple of chances, one of which struck the crossbar.
“Sanchez Janz-Baker also came off the bench and had an opportunity which went just wide but that was about it.
“They equalised midway through the second half when we failed to react quick enough to a ball that was squared across from a short corner, and if I’m honest, a draw was probably fair.
“They beat us at their place last season and they were certainly up for it again.
“Teams tend to raise their game when they play us and that is exactly what they did.”
The islanders were missing the likes of Ross Carmichael, Tom Carter, Andy Harris and Adam Linaker for the clash but Austin certainly did not use that as an excuse.
He added: “We had to shuffle the back four around a bit but to be honest they didn’t cause us too many problems. We just didn’t create enough.
“At least Hamworthy Recreation lost which means the damage that draw has done at the top for us isn’t too horrific.”
Rec remain top but are now level on points with both Merley Cobham Sports and Portland, with the latter holding a game in hand.
Blues: A Weeks, R Doidge, Whyton, B Doidge, Gould (Newnham 55), Toghill, Halloran, Smith, Bastick (Janz-Baker 65), Clarke, Mutch.
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