BLANDFORD United swallowed a taste of their own medicine as Bournemouth Sports fought back to draw 3-3 in their Dorset Premier League battle at Park Road.

Last weekend, the 10-man Royals stunned Dorchester Sports by overturning a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 courtesy of two late goals.

But Blandford conceded twice in the final eight minutes – a far cry from a promising start as Jake Ford finished from an acute angle at the back post.

However, centre-back Ash Rimmer went off injured and Sports capitalised to bury a header past goalkeeper Mark Ford.

Blandford deservedly went 2-1 up in the 43rd minute when Archie McCarthy stormed down the left before pulling back for Taylor Pike to fire his seventh goal in four games.

Pike’s brother Bradley added a third on the hour, slaloming past three defenders before tucking in for 3-1.

But Blandford suddenly saw the finishing line and tied up, allowing Sports back into the game as the visitors scored in the 83rd minute.

Confidence drained out of the Royals’ defence as Sports grabbed a late equaliser and things could have worsened but for a crucial block to deny the Chapel Gate side a winner.

Speaking to Echosport, Royals’ boss Jamie Haylock admitted Blandford had “crumbled” in the final 10 minutes.

“After the win against Dorchester you thought we’d push on,” Haylock said.

“We played a lot better against Bournemouth and dominated large parts of the game, restricted them to very little.

“They scored in the 83rd minute to make it 3-2 and then, I don’t know what it was, we just crumbled. There was nothing we could do.

“It was very frustrating, they had a late surge. It didn’t help that (Rimmer) came off injured in the first half and we did look shaky at the back.

“They pushed late and once they got their second they smelt blood – we were on our knees.”

Haylock rued the outcome after what he insisted was a good display.

“It’s annoying because we played well,” he said.

“That was the worst thing about this one. We played well for large periods and we missed chances to put the game to bed.

“We gave them something to fight for. If we put these teams to bed early, it’s game over.

“We just couldn’t hold on and, if anything, they could’ve nicked it. They almost went through in the 96th minute and I thought ‘ oh my God, we’re in bits here.’”

Blandford host Beaminster in the Dorset Senior Trophy on Saturday (2.30pm).

Royals: M Ford, P Ford, Rimmer (E Manson), Johnson, B Pike (Berry), Hill, J Ford, Parry, McCarthy, Jones (Norman), T Pike.


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