A DANNY Andrews’ strike saw a weakened Balti Sports dispense of Sturminster Newton and secure their spot in the semi-finals of the Dorset Premier League Cup.

Balti have been on a rough run of form since they beat Merley Cobham Sports in October which saw them progress through to the second round of the cup as the side have taken just one point in the Dorset Premier League since that win.

Sports had a reduced squad with nine players missing in total which meant they had to play eight defenders in the starting team.

After 20 minutes, the away side lost Sammy Nichols to injury but despite this Balti were the dominant side during the first half as they had chances to open the scoring before they did in the 30th minute.

Andrews was put through one-on-one and his early lob went over the onrushing keeper before going in after hitting the underside of the bar.

Balti were having success in getting past the Sturminster defence and getting into the box but their shooting left something to be desired and they could not capitalise.

Sturminster were restricted to long-range efforts that did not trouble Balti manager Marco Nott who played in goal.

The second half saw Balti face more pressure as they sat quite deep and Sturminster put a bit more pressure on.

The hosts missed a great chance to equalise in the 80th minute when a ball crossed in saw a headed effort from five yards out go over the bar.

Balti defended well as Nott had a relatively quiet time in goal despite the Sturminster efforts.

Nott gave special praise to Matt Roberts, a defender who played as a holding midfielder for the game and was the man of the match for Balti.

Nott said: “He was outstanding and read the game really well. He did his job really well and for a young lad to show that he can step up into an unknown position and step up like he did is excellent.”

Nott said: “It was a really big win for us, we needed that.

“It was quite a scrappy game we should have been out of sight at half-time really.

“The cup gives us something to look forward to for the rest of the season so hopefully we can get a few wins together and build a bit of confidence.”

Balti are next in action when they face Parley Sports away in the league on Saturday (2pm).

Balti Sports: Nott, Anderson, Pearce, Proffitt, Taylor, Nichols (Lock 20), Roberts, Austin, McClemence, Andrews, Houghton (Burton 70)


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