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FOOTBALL: Mutch keeps Portland on title track
PORTLAND UNITED 1
WEYMOUTH RESERVES 0
CARL Mutch’s header on 15 minutes sent Portland United to the top of the Dorset Premier League at the expense of their visitors.
The Blues are now two points clear at the summit with six games left as they bid for back-to-back league titles.
They started the game at Grove Corner brightly and took the lead when Mutch converted an Alex Halloran free-kick.
Portland controlled the majority of the half without really threatening to extend their ad-vantage.
Jake Richmond’s Terras, who only have two fixtures remaining, began the second half with a real intensity to their game, not allowing the hosts any time to play.
Finding any sort of rhythm was proving hard for Portland and, as the half wore on, they were restricted to just the odd half chance, the best falling to Jamie Beasley whose tame shot was easily saved.
Weymouth looked to catch the Blues on the break and their best chance fell to Carl McClements, but his powerful shot was well saved by Ashley Weeks.
Blues’ manager Gary Bailey said: “It was typical of a derby game, fast and furious, which really affected the quality of football by both sides.
“I was pleased with our first half display as we controlled the game and deserved to be ahead at the break.
“Weymouth worked very hard in the second half to stop us from playing and it turned into a game of very few chances.
“I thought we defended very well throughout and restricted them to just one real chance on goal.
“We are obviously delighted to get the victory and I feel we probably just edged it over the 90 minutes.”
“But I would imagine if you asked Jake he would think their hard work deserved something from the game, that’s how it often is in tight games.”
And Bailey was right about Richmond’s take on the game, with the Terras’ chief adding: “I thought we did more than enough to get a draw.
“They dominated the first half and we defended poorly at a set-piece to let them score, but we dominated the second half and had the one clear-cut chance which Ashley Weeks saved from Carl McClements.
“My whole squad was superb and I was immensely proud of their effort, we just couldn’t break them down.”
Blues: Weeks, Smith, Whyton, Carmichael, B Doidge, Mutch (Baker 75), Halloran, McKechnie, R Doidge, Beasley, L Clarke (Carlile 10). Subs not used: Newnham, Hansford
Terras: Park, Harvey, Staines, Butcher, Anstey, G Will (Asagba 45), Nichols, Preece (P Ford 65), Jevon, McClements, Pidgely. Subs not used: J Will, Byatt, Jackson
Match day sponsor: Fantisma Ltd
Match ball sponsor: Joan Barrons
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