Under-15 Division Three
PORTLAND TOWN 3 STURMINSTER MARSHALL 1
SKIPPER Jack Atkins netted twice from the spot to help Portland Town move to the top of the table in Division Three.
Sturminster Marshall came into the game in pole position but the islanders never let them settle and ran out deserved winners.
The game started with the two sides sides enjoying decent spells of possession and both keepers pulled off fine saves before the hosts were awarded a penalty for handball.
Atkins converted in style, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Stur refused to drop their heads though and immediately responded by throwing everything at a resilient Portland defence.
However, their efforts came to nothing as brilliant teamwork from Ryan Luckhurst, Jake Costello, Atkins and Ty Scammell managed to keep them at bay with help from the strong midfield partnership of Luke Barber and Drew Talbot.
Town’s front four of Harrison McCune, Jordan Outhwaite, Oliver Carter and man-of-the-match Moses Lewis were also linking up well with short, sharp passes, which continued to frustrate the Sturminster defence.
Eventually the home side’s clever play led to a second goal when McCune’s throw-in resulted in another handball in the box, allowing Atkins to fire home again from 12 yards.
Stur finally got one back by sliding the ball under Town keeper Greg Triplett, but they were unable to carry that momentum into the second half as Portland hit back with a strike from Talbot.
With the wind at their backs, the islanders were now in command and their job was made a lot easier with 15 minutes to go when an off-the-ball incident resulted in a Stur player seeing red.
After that the hosts saw the game out with ease to move two points clear at the summit, although Stur still hold two games in hand.
Portland boss Paul Barber said: “After such a big win against Wool the previous week, we needed to knuckle down and defend for our lives, and again the defence stood firm.
“These young men have only been playing as a team for nearly two seasons and my assistant Craig Gale and I cannot praise them enough.”
Ricol Leisure Man of the Match: Moses Lewis