FAWLEY AFC 2
PORTLAND UNITED 4
PORTLAND United extended their winning run in unfashionable style with a battling 4-2 victory over Fawley AFC.
By the admission of manager Gary Bailey, his side weren’t as good as they have been but still managed to secure a much-needed win.
The Blues went behind after 12 minutes when some slack marking allowed the home striker to fire into the top corner from 18 yards.
Portland huffed and puffed to get back into the game, but to no avail until a splendid 15-minute spell turned the game on its head.
Two goals from Lewis Clarke and a Ross Carmichael strike gave the visitors an unlikely 3-1 lead at half-time which appeared to shellshock the hosts.
The Blues made it four on 55 minutes after a Max Buckler cross found Ashley Smith who finished with ease to put the game beyond doubt, before some tired marking allowing the hosts to get a consolation in the closing stages.
Fawley also had two men sent off in stoppage time, but the game was well and truly over by then, and Bailey was delighted with the win.
He said: “It was an important win. If I’m honest, we weren’t at our best. I think the previous games had an effect on us and we were a bit slow out of the blocks.
“It was a little bit flattering to be leading from the first-half performance but it shows the confidence levels in the team that it only takes a minute to click. We scored at a good time and were ruthless enough to back it up.
“On the back of a busy schedule I’m just happy to get in and get out with the three points intact. I know we can play better and have played better but no-one will remember that, it will go down as an away win, a deserved one.
“We might have been mentally tired as well as physically tired, and when you are it’s hard to get to the levels that you need to. But when we went a goal down it was a little reminder and gave us the jolt that we needed to get ourselves going and the players responded by putting the game to bed before half-time.
“It’s a sign of a good side that we saw a weakness and we were able to go and exploit it, and that 10 or 15-minute spell before half-time won us the game.
“At this stage of the season it’s all about results. Sometime you have to win ugly and that’s what we did today.”
Blues: Lillington, Smith, Whyton, Carmichael, Clarke, Buckler (Halloran 70), Doidge, Watts (Godfrey 60), Beasley, Bastick (Bessant 45), Clarke. Subs not used: Richardson.