FOOTBALL: Portland suffer shoot-out agony

Dorset Echo: EYES ON THE BALL: Rich Sands and Ryan McKechnie EYES ON THE BALL: Rich Sands and Ryan McKechnie

PORTLAND UNITED 0 HAMWORTHY REC 0

(aet, Rec win 5-4 on pens)

PORTLAND United were left to pay the penalty from Hamworthy Rec keeper Andy Knights, as he slotted home the winning spot-kick to ensure the Blues lost their second successive Dorset Premier League Cup final.

In a nervy, stop-start affair at the Bob Lucas Stadium, Gary Bailey’s men started the game the brighter of the two sides, and had two half-chances to open the scoring within the first seven minutes.

After Rec failed to clear their lines from a ball into the area, a chance fell to Portland skipper Lewis Whyton, who rifled a shot from eight yards which deflected narrowly over off a defender.

Islanders’ marksman Lewis Clarke then found himself with a heap of space between two markers, but lacked composure as he glanced a header just over the top.

Hamworthy’s Sam Purdy then had his cup final ended early when he tangled with Ashley Smith as they challenged for a ball in the corner, leaving the frontman unable to continue with just over 20 minutes gone.

Smith then lost out on the right hand side to Rec’s Phil Midson but he couldn’t muster a ball through as the game remained deadlocked and clear chances were scarce throughout.

Ryan McKechnie had a free header cleared off the line from a corner just short of the hour mark and as the cup final nerves started to creep in going into the last 20 minutes of normal time, Linaker then blasted the ball into the roof of the net, only for the goal to be promptly ruled out for offside.

As the islanders pushed forward, Rec then found themselves with a glorious chance on the counter-attack late on, coming the way of substitute Tim Por- ter.

After Midson had broken clear down the left, he delivered a pinpoint cross for the head of Porter, but the Rec replacement couldn’t quite keep his effort down as the clash went into extra time.

With both sides tiring, a bizarre incident led to Portland being reduced to 10 men.

After Ross Carmichael picked up an innocuous booking midway through the first period of extra time, it took referee Peter Smith an age to realise he had previously cautioned the defender and eventually gave him his marching orders.

And if one was not enough, the islanders could have then had another man dismissed when Ben Doidge lunged in on Midson near the dugouts and appeared to stamp on the Hamworthy man after the challenge, but was somehow only awarded a caution as the game petered out into penalties.

After the Blues slotted home their first four spot-kicks, up stepped skipper Whyton, who could only strike the effort into the clutches of Knights to force sudden death.

And after Ben Doidge’s audacious chip sailed over and Ashley Smith saw his spot-kick denied, the Hamworthy keeper found the net from 12 yards to claim the cup.

Blues: Weeks, Smith, B Doidge, Carmichael, Whyton, Bessant, McKechnie, Halloran, Clarke (Linaker 46), R Doidge, Bastic (Carlile 72). Subs not used: Newnham, Hansford, Bickerstaff

Rec: Knights, Sands, Hatchard (Griffiths 113), Willis, Bartlett, Ross, Andrews, Blackburn, Purdy (Payne 24), Dykes (Porter 84), Midson. Subs not used: Whatling, Downes Bookings:

Blues – Bessant (foul, 38) Rec – Blackburn (foul, 65) Andrews (foul, 100) Ross (foul, 112) Sent off: Blues – Carmichael (foul, 54, second bookable offence, 96)

Referee: Peter Smith

Attendance: 202

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