WEYMOUTH SPORTS 1 PORTLAND UTD RES 1
DAN Skelton’s late header rescued Portland United Reserves a point at Weymouth Sports in the Dorset Senior League.
There was some good young talent on show in both teams but it was the hosts that went ahead when experienced striker Robbie Rolls beat a couple of defenders and fired the ball into the corner of the net.
Mike Sonner was then denied by the impressive Chris Theakstone before United came more into it after the break and finally levelled when Skelton nodded a free-kick past James Parkes in the closing stages.
Reflecting on the game, Sports’ joint-boss Chris Hicks said: “We would have taken a draw before the game.
“They are the defending champions and they have had a decent start to the season.
“However, we had more of the play in the first half and with the chances we created throughout the game, on another day we might have come away with more.”
Hicks went on to add: “We were tremendous in the first 45 minutes. We kept the ball moving, harassed them all over the pitch and deserved to go in front.
“Robbie took his goal superbly and we were unfortunate not to get another.
“They then came into it more in the second half and enjoyed a bit more possession but we still had two or three chances to put the game beyond them.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to take them and when they won a free-kick in the closing stages one of their lads came up from the back and scored a good header to equalise. To concede late on like that is always disappointing but to a man I thought the lads were excellent and I was delighted with the performance.
“Shaun Bessant was superb at the back but man of the match has to go to young Will Sonner who was excellent in the middle.”
The draw means Portland have now picked up seven points from their opening four games, leaving them five adrift of the top, but retaining their title is not their main priority.
New boss Lee Clarke said: “We took a young squad with us, including three 16-year-olds, and when you look at it like that it was a good result.
“We are trying to get more youngsters involved by giving them a chance whilst at the same time balancing the need to give those coming down from the first team some much-needed minutes.
“So far it is working well and we are starting to see some really encouraging signs.
“Keeper Chris Theakstone was particularly impressive at Sports. He is only 16 and the way he came for everything was excellent.”
Sports lie 11th and are still winless this season, drawing three of their opening four games.
Sports: Parkes, Stroud (L Taylor 75), Bessant, Hicks, Walker (Austin 10), Thomas, Culpin, W Sonner, Green (Miles-Bell 70), M Sonner, Rolls.
Blues: Theakstone, Spencley (Preston 46), Newnham (R Mutch 46), D Skelton, Kelly, Gould, Camp, Boatswain, Tugwell, Sidwell, Churchill.