DORCHESTER Sports turned in a poor display as an under-strength Blandford United completed a 2-0 victory in the Dorset Premier League.

Star of the show for the Royals was Bradley Pike, who scored twice despite being sin-binned for dissent.

Sports missed the chance to go fourth as Bournemouth Sports moved behind the top three with a 4-0 win over Portland United Reserves.

Pike opened the scoring after 15 minutes against the run of play on the counter, finishing past Sports’ debutant goalkeeper Callum Anderson.

Sports enjoyed large spells of possession but were kept at bay by the appetite of the Blandford defence.

Visiting midfielder Jamie Samways had to be replaced by Joel Hewitt early in the second half after coming off worse in a clash of heads with Pike.

Unshaken from the collision, Blandford’s ace might have claimed his double had the officials not failed to spot his free-kick had crossed the line. Pike was consequently sin-binned for his protests.

As Sports pushed for a leveller, Blandford broke and Alex Gould produced a stunning one-on-one tackle on sub Josh Pitman after 80 minutes to keep it 1-0.

Sports’ Pat Thomas picked up a second yellow card and was sent off, before Pike returned from his sin-bin to curl a low free-kick beyond Anderson, sealing victory.

Speaking to Echosport, Sports’ boss Ashley James said: “The performance was flat. A lack of ideas, creativity. A poor, poor afternoon.

“We could still be there now and we wouldn’t have scored.

“It wasn’t a great game with fairly few chances. We had a goalkeeper who made his first appearance for us and he had very little to do. He wasn’t at fault for any of the goals.

“It was just one of those games. We had a bit of possession, we got the ball into the box but nothing came of it.

“A couple of weeks off didn’t help us and in the end they deserved the win.

“They were there for the taking, they had seven or eight players missing and had two of their strikers playing in defence.

“Paul Ford played right-back and Steve Smith played centre-back. It was an opportunity for us and we didn’t take it.”

Blandford are now three points behind Sports with a whopping five games in hand.

Sports: Anderson, Quinton, A Gould, Hill, Heal (Wash 55), Samways (Hewitt 50), G Will, P Thomas, Ross, Stafie (West 60), Beasley.


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