PORTLAND UNITED 4 BLANDFORD UNITED 1
JAMIE Beasley made a big impact on his Portland United debut with a hand in three of the home side’s four goals at Grove Corner on Saturday.
The Dorchester Town wide man, who signed dual registration forms with the islanders last week, is on the comeback trail following horrific facial injuries suffered while playing for the Magpies before Christ-mas.
And it appears that he is well on the way to making a full recovery after playing a big role in Portland’s comfortable Dorset Premier League victory over Blandford.
With Weymouth Reserves only drawing, the Blues, now up to second in the table, are only a point behind in the race for the title.
Speaking afterwards, Portland boss Gary Bailey was delighted with the three points, though he felt his side could have scored more.
“It could have been double figures,” he said. “We were a bit wasteful but, other than a 10-minute spell in the second half, we controlled it from start to finish.
“It was a game of missed chances from our point of view and it would have been nice to keep a clean sheet, but we’re looking good.
“It’s in our hands now and if we win our games it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.
“But it does release some of the pressure if your closest rivals slip up.”
The Blues took the lead on 22 minutes when Ross Doidge converted from the spot after Beasley had been brought down when clean through on goal.
A second came in the 35th minute, with Antony Carlile finishing off a Beasley cross following good interplay between Doidge and Alex Halloran.
Portland squandered three gilt-edged chances just after half-time – Lewis Clarke, Ryan McKechnie and Carlile the guilty parties – before the visitors pulled one back on the hour.
Home keeper Ashley Weeks could do little to prevent a speculative effort looping over his head and into the net.
But after a ragged 10-minute period from the Blues, they restored their two-goal advantage when Carlile headed his second from a McKechnie cross.
And there was just enough time left for substitute James Hans-ford to get on the scoresheet, slotting in a Beasley pass to make it 4-1.
“Jamie Beasley has been out for a while through injury and hopefully we can help each other out between now and end of the season,” added Bailey.
“He was a bit rusty but was instrumental in three of the goals and had a good game, but everyone put a shift in.”
Blues: Weeks, Smith, Whyton, Carmichael, Newnham (Gould 80), McKechnie, R Doidge, Halloran, Beasley, Carlile (Hansford 85), Jansz-Baker (L Clarke 55) n Saturday’s match ball sponsor was Sid Flew.