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FOOTBALL: Blues hit for five in surprise home defeat
PORTLAND UNITED 2 SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 5
PORTLAND United were knocked off their perch at the summit of the Dorset Premier League following a shock defeat at Grove Corner.
And not only did the Blues lose top spot to Merley Cobham Sports, who were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Wareham Rangers, but they also suffered injuries to key players.
Will Gould lasted just 25 minutes before a sore ankle saw him come off, while Sanchez Jansz-Baker and Ashley Smith followed suit in the second half with hamstring and back problems respectively.
But boss Gary Bailey was eager for his players not to get too downhearted after only their second loss of the season.
“It was a surprise result and obviously one we are disappointed with,” he said.
“We said after the win against Hamworthy Recreation how important it was to back that up with a positive result, but we didn’t do that.
“Swanage deserved their victory but 5-2 is a very strange scoreline and we could quite well have won by the same score if we had taken our chances when we were on top.
“But we were so open at times and we really did play into their hands in the second half.”
He continued: “Last week I said it was important that we stayed grounded after a good result and this week it’s equally important we don’t get too down.
“It sounds a bit daft when you’ve lost 5-2, but certain aspects of our play were excellent and we played very well at times.”
Sam Beale gave Swanage the lead early on but it didn’t take long for an equaliser to arrive and Smith reacted quickest to a rebound to make it 1-1.
The hosts had turned things around in the 20th minute when Jansz-Baker let fly with an unstoppable effort from 25 yards to put them in front.
It seemed as though the Blues would get a third after that, but when they didn’t make their dominance tell Beale struck again on the half-hour mark.
Despite being pegged back, the Blues came out for the second half and continued to boss proceedings, hitting the woodwork on four occasions.
Disaster then struck twice in three minutes when corners to the far post were turned in by Paul Best and George Harvey to give the Swans a 4-2 lead.
And with the home side pushing bodies forward in the faint hope of salvaging something from the game Jacob Harrop added a fifth.
Blues: Weeks, Newnham, Whyton, Carmichael, B Doidge, Smith (Mutch 80), R Doidge, Halloran, Gould (Churchill 25), Jansz-Baker (Linaker 70), Clarke Match ball sponsor: Andy Straw
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