Lightfoot 45

ALFIE Lightfoot condemned Portland United to their second defeat in three games as they fell to Bemerton Heath Harlequins at Grove Corner in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

The goal, shortly before half-time, came from a long ball up the field which saw the ball crossed in towards Lightfoot who fired past Steve Boore in the Portland goal.

The result was the islanders’ second defeat in three games and sees them drop down one place to 10th in the table.

Portland had plenty of possession but struggled to create chances as they found the visiting defence difficult to break down.

The game was level throughout most of the first half as the Blues’ defence held firm however, the turning point came before half-time.

Louis Clarke was put through on goal but as the Bemerton centre-half was trying to get back the two players ended up on the floor in the penalty area and Portland manager Simon Browne felt the striker had been impeded.

Nothing was given and two minutes later, Bemerton scored the decisive goal as they knocked the ball forward which was held up before a well-worked move saw the ball crossed into Lightfoot to fire home.

Portland tried to respond in the second-half as midway through Sam Buckler had a headed effort cleared off the line.

A couple of strikes were blocked away as Portland tried to get an equaliser but found it difficult to get through the defence.

Late on, Bemerton went close to extending their lead with a headed effort but the game ended as Portland could not rescue a point.

Browne said: “We huffed and puffed but unfortunately we did not have enough to get back into the game after conceding.

“Frustrating, disappointing, all of those words but we will go again and keep plugging away until we get it right.”

Referring to their 2-0 win away at Bournemouth in their last league match, Browne said: “It was a bit of a contrast to last week in terms of the way the game went but there we go.

Speaking about the incident with Clarke, Browne said: “I think that was the pivotal moment in the game, had it gone our way. I was convinced from where I was looking that it was a penalty.”

Portland are next in action in the league when they go to Shaftesbury on Saturday (3pm).

Portland United: Boore, Sharpe, Zima, Butcher (Smith 70), Buckler, Evans, Bearwish, McKechnie, Clarke, Godfrey, Halloran (Mitchell 80). Subs not used: Payne, Lillington, Wilson

Bemerton Heath Harlequins: Crossley, Field, Plank, Waters, J Rawkins, Hassell, Lightfoot, Burgess, Matthews, Cross, J Rawkins. Subs not used: Matthews, Young

Attendance: 124

Referee: Anthony Smith

Match ball sponsor: Godfrey Matthews

Programme sponsor: Cafe Oasis, Paul Cox


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