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FOOTBALL: Late rally helps Portland back to the summit
PORTLAND UNITED 2
A LAST-GASP leveller meant Portland United returned to the top of the Dorset Premier League, as they shared the spoils with nine-man Tintinhull United.
With two minutes left on the clock, it looked as if the Blues were going to succumb to back-to-back defeats over the Easter period, but a late Ross Doidge penalty along with Ryan McKechnie’s equaliser, deep into stoppage time meant that Portland claimed a precious point.
Manager Gary Bailey told Echosport: “It was very eventful, we started okay and were on the front foot.
“We had a couple of chances to take the lead and it was a classic sucker punch when we went behind.”
When Tintinhull lost a man for dissent just short of the interval, Bailey’s charges knew they were in with a chance to pile the pressure on the hosts after the break.
He added: “In the second half we came out and they just put everyone behind the ball, we were playing two at the back and five up front and just couldn’t break them down, it was an onslaught.
And even though Tintinhull doubled their lead on the counter-attack with 20 minutes left to play, Bailey praised the spirit of his side for not giving up the ghost and eventually getting their reward when the penalty was given and the hosts had their second man dismissed.
Moments later, McKechnie, pictured, was then on hand to bundle the ball home from close range to seal the point.
Bailey added: “You’re kind of thinking after 70 minutes that’s the writing on the wall but the lads kept going and asked questions.
“Plenty of others would have just played the game out and let that be the end of it but credit to the lads, they stuck at it and they kept putting the ball in there, and eventually the pressure paid off for us.”
Blues: Weeks, Newnham, B Doidge (Mutch 80), Carmichael, Whyton, R Doidge, McKechnie, Halloran, Carlile, Linaker, Smith.
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