FOOTBALL: Balti House on cloud nine after slaying Spartans

Dorset Echo: ON THE BALL: Spartan Dave Washington holds off Balti ace Olly Stanton ON THE BALL: Spartan Dave Washington holds off Balti ace Olly Stanton

WEYMOUTH SPARTANS 1 BALTI HOUSE 3

BALTI House made it nine wins on the trot in Dorset League Division One with a 3-1 derby victory over rivals Weymouth Spartans.

Played on a good surface at Cranford Avenue, the hosts started brightly with Shane Lock and Tom Grattidge working the channels well and creating mayhem for the Spartans’ rearguard.

It wasn’t long before they made one of these forays count when Adam Billings took a short corner and picked out Ollie Stanton perfectly with a delightful ball for the midfielder to nod in from six yards.

Balti continued to dominate, playing some of their best football of the season, and it wasn’t long before they carved open the Spartans’ defence once more.

The ball fell kindly to Billings 20 yards out and, seeing the keeper off his line, he hit a delightful chip into the back of the net.

Spartans tried to respond through lively strikers Grant Chance and Marcus Simpson, but with 30 minutes on the clock Balti struck again.

Good interplay on the left flank between Grattidge and Josh Houghton saw the former scamper clear and, with the goal at his mercy, he unselfishly squared the ball to Lock who hit a cracking first-time shot that smashed in off the underside of the bar.

With the Spartans on the back foot, manager Kieron Howes made a tactical substitution and introduced himself prior to half-time, but the score remained 3-0.

The second half saw a dramatic improvement from the Spartans and it was not long before they reduced the arrears when a long ball caught the Balti defence sleeping and Simpson burst through to slot past keeper Andy Nott.

Realising they may have an opportunity to salvage something from the game, Spartans continued to attack with purpose but left themselves stretched in doing so.

Billings had a great opportunity to make it 4-1 but he somehow managed to drag his effort agonisingly wide.

At the other end, Nott saved well from a Howes free-kick but the ball fell kindly to Dave Washington a few yards out and he flashed his effort across the face of the goal.

While Balti were the better side, credit must go to Spartans as well for coming back strongly and making a good game of it.

Balti are now six points clear at the top of the table and now turn their attention to the Dorset Senior Trophy. They host in-form Kangaroos in the third round on Saturday (1.30pm).

Balti Man of the Match: Shane Lock

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