S Buckler, McKechnie



PORTLAND United arrested a run of four straight defeats with a much needed 2-1 victory over struggling Fareham Town in their Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division clash at Weyline Stadium.

The Blues started off brightly with plenty of possession and territory and it was from a lengthy phase with the ball that the hosts scored inside 15 minutes.

Jamie Beasley whipped in a corner and centre-back Sam Buckler buried a superb header beyond Fareham goalkeeper Declan McCarthy to put Portland into a deserved lead.

Buckler’s goal was a confidence boost for the Blues, who now had the advantage to fight for.

Portland were dominant and saw Beasley plus Ryan McKechnie squander good chances as Fareham were restricted to counter-attacking football.

Although Portland only had one goal to show for their first-half efforts, Brendon King’s men soon doubled their advantage in the second half.

McKechnie was the beneficiary, sliding home to score from six yards as Beasley assisted again.

Portland did relent in their intensity and afforded Fareham a route back into the game as the Creeksiders halved the deficit through Lamin Jatta.

The Blues had further opportunities to score but had to fend off Town in the closing stages to seal victory.

Speaking to Echosport, King hailed the Blues’ victory, despite his perception that the performance could have been better.

He said: “We deserved it. It wasn’t the prettiest, one of those you had to grind out. We showed a lot of resilience, what we’re capable of in small patches.

“Overall, I’m really pleased. Sometimes it’s all about the win, not about the performance.

“We needed it – we’d have taken that all day long before we kicked off.”

King felt Buckler’s header set Portland on the path to victory.

He said: “We got an early goal and that settled us down, but to be fair we started off quite brightly anyway.

“We had more possession and the header gave us a little lift after the last few weeks we’ve had.

“You can puff your chest out and it gives you something to fight for instead of chasing the game – which we’ve been doing.”

Portland visit champions Sholing tomorrow (7.45pm).

Blues: Edgar, Doidge, C Clarke, Halloran, Whyton, S Buckler, S Roche, M Buckler, Rowe, McKechnie, Beasley. Subs: E Roche, L Clarke, Wilson.

Match Sponsor: Calibre Developments GB Ltd

Match Ball Sponsors: Archie & Sonia Pearce

Programme Sponsor: Carola Northcott-Deacon

Mascot: Henry Rodd

Man of the Match: Lewis Whyton

Attendance: 126


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