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Merley end Blues’ unbeaten record
PORTLAND UNITED 2 MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 3
GROVE Corner witnessed a major shock as Portland United suffered their first defeat of the season – losing 3-2 at home to previously winless Merley Cobham Sports.
The Blues entered Saturday’s clash boasting a 100 per cent record and sitting proudly at the Magna Dorset Premier League summit, while their opponents were rooted to the foot of the table with only three points to their name.
But a sloppy start gave the islanders a mountain to climb and although they drew level through Tom Bell and Mitch Conning, Merley’s Aaron Atkinson completed his hat-trick and the home side were unable to recover.
Blues’ boss Chris Wilson, who tasted defeat for the first time following his appointment in the summer, said: “A lack of concentration in the first 15 minutes killed us – nothing more than that.
“The one thing we warned our players about and asked them to do was set a good tempo and not give Merley an easy way into the game.
“But we didn’t do that, we were caught out twice and we were 2-0 down after 15 minutes. “It doesn’t matter what level you play at, losing two goals will cost you, and it certainly cost us.
“We managed to get ourselves back to 2-2 but they nicked another just before half-time.
“Credit to our players, they came out for the second half and had a real go. We must have had 20 chances to score but we couldn’t convert them and in the end we gave ourselves too much to do.
“We have a lot of experience in the dressing room and the boys were honest enough after the game. We will take what we can from the game and move on.”
Portland, who trail leaders Holt United by a single point, will look to get back on track when they entertain Hamworthy United Reserves this Saturday.
Blues: Weeks, Cranny, Henley, Whyton, Carmichael, Harris, Skelton, Conning, Smith, Mutch (Halloran 50), Bell (Maxted 70). Subs not used: Dailey, Spencely.