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Great Scott pounces for Portland
PORTLAND UNITED 2 HOLT UNITED 1
SCOTT Henley pounced late on to see Portland United replace Holt United at the Magna Dorset Premier League summit.
Jack Bath’s pin-point free-kick gave Holt the lead at Grove Corner but Lewis Whyton’s penalty levelled matters in the islanders’ first home match of the new season.
And it looked like the league’s top two teams would remain unbeaten as the clock ticked down.
However, Henley bagged his third goal of the campaign to snatch victory and maintain the Blues’ 100 per cent record with seven wins from as many outings.
Delighted boss Chris Wilson said: “You get very little change out of Holt. They work really hard for each other and they are constantly breaking up the game to make life hard for you.
“Anything you do get against them you know you will have earned and I have to give our players a lot of credit.
“We matched Holt’s work-rate and we looked to play when we could.
“Their guy scored a tremendous free-kick to put them ahead in the second half. “It was the first time we had been behind this season but we had the strength of character to fight back.
“We went on the offensive straight away and got a penalty when Mitch Conning was brought down. Lewis converted and from then on we put them under a lot of pressure.
“And in the end the ball broke for Scott and he finished with a really cool head.”
The visitors gave a debut to Chris Potter in goal and he was the busier of the two keepers in the first period.
The islanders also had an effort from Ross Carmichael cleared off the line while Whyton was denied by the woodwork from an acute angle.
And just as the half drew to a close, Mitch Conning found himself through on goal only to be foiled by Potter.
Holt needed to improve on their first-half showing and they did so by taking the lead just past the hour-mark.
Andy Harris was penalised on the edge of his own box and Bath produced a superb hit to break the deadlock.
However, Portland were level within a matter of seconds as Whyton scored from the spot.
The game ebbed and flowed as both sides looked for a winner.
And with time almost up, a cross from home substitute Charlie May found its way to Henley, who took a touch before firing into the net to spark wild celebrations.
The table-toppers entertain Merley Cobham Sports this weekend.
Blues: Weeks, Cranny (Dailey 55), Carmichael, Henley, Whyton, Skelton, Smith (May 80), Harris, Conning, Mutch (Bell 60), Toghill.