CHICKERELL’S fading title hopes were dealt another blow at Grove Corner as they suffered their third Dorset Senior League defeat in successive games.

James Hansford and Simon Crouch put Portland 2-0 up before Nick Etherington pulled one back for the Chickens.

Elliott Stone levelled the match just after the restart, but Ross Boatswain converted from the spot and Steve Churchill added a fourth to give Portland victory.

Chickerell boss Steve Coward wasn’t a happy man though, as he felt the home side should have been reduced to 10 men with the score at 2-2.

“We’ve just not had the rub of the green in the last three weeks and decisions have gone against us,” said Coward.

“Warren White was brought down by the last man when he was clean through on goal, but the defender didn’t even get a yellow card.

“They went up the other end and our lad was about two yards away from a shot when it hit him and the referee gave a penalty.”

He added: “We created so many chances but missed so many of them. We’ve got to hit the target or finish them off.

“It would be a massive bonus if we were to win the title now.”

Coward’s opposite number, Chris Hicks, was delighted to see his side come through in the end.

He said: “It was a big game in terms of local rivalry and we played well.

“We knew they had lost two on the bounce going into it and we reminded the boys of that before the match.

“It was a massive morale boost for the players and local bragging rights comes with a win like that as well.”

Portland and Chickerell both have home advantage tomorrow when they take on Kingston Lacy and Okeford United respectively, while Upwey & Broadwey are away to Witchampton United (all 3pm).

Portland: Bickerstaff, A Gould, Burton, Pattison, Turner, Churchill, Camp, Townley, Boatswain, Crouch, Hansford (Delaplanque 70). Subs not used: Austin, Hicks Chickens: Guilbert, Miles, Willett, S Welch (Stalker 40), Coles, Protheroe, Ferguson (Campbell-Bell 60), Etherington, White, Why (Bill 75), Stone