FOOTBALL: Improved Portland fall to Westland

Dorset Echo: STAND-IN KEEPER: Denis Calcraft STAND-IN KEEPER: Denis Calcraft

Under-18 Division One

WESTLAND SPORTS 4 PORTLAND TOWN 2

PORTLAND showed just how much they have improved in recent weeks but ultimately suffered a battling defeat at high-flying Westland Sports.

With the island squad depleted by injuries and work commitments, two new signings, Tom Arliss and Bryson Zondo, made their Town debut.

Denis Calcraft, pictured, stepped in as goalkeeper with usual number one Matty Peart away on holiday.

Despite these setbacks, the visitors went on to provide a battling performance that every member of the squad should be proud off.

Calcraft was soon called into action, having to face a penalty in the seventh minute. The decision was harsh to say the least with the infringement appearing to be outside the box. Calcraft was not to be outdone though, producing a fabulous save to keep the scores level.

The game was very even in very stormy conditions but Westland did take the lead with an outstanding goal on 33 minutes. There seemed to be little danger when a midfielder picked up the ball 30 yards out but he unleashed a fine effort into the top corner.

The second half sprung into life very quickly.

Westland doubled their advantage with a penalty after Calcraft upended a Westland forward in the 47th minute.

However, Town didn’t let their heads go down and were level at 2-2 within five minutes. Firstly, Portland won a penalty of their own after JJ Ogilvie was crudely taken down in the 51st minute.

Up stepped Matt Dunlop to coolly blast the ball home, keeping up his record of never missing a penalty for Town.

The islanders were then level a minute later. Ogilvie did well down the right, winning the ball before sliding it forward for Danny Clifford, who placed the ball into the bottom corner.

Town were now sensing victory but it was Westland who took the lead two minutes later after a break down the wing led to a tap-in to put them 3-2 ahead.

Town went on to lay siege to the Westland goal and came close to equalising with five minutes remaining.

Archie Markwell, Clifford and Ogilvie combined down the left before the ball broke to Dunlop, but he couldn’t keep his effort down from 12 yards out.

Town went all out for an equaliser and pushed everyone up for a last-minute corner.

Westland managed to clear and broke upfield before tapping into an empty net.

The scoreline did flatter Westland but it now shows that Portland can compete at this level.

Ricol Leisure Man of the Match: Edd Barber

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