BALTI Sports missed the chance to take third spot in the Dorset Premier League with a 3-1 defeat at Gillingham Town.

With this fixture hastily fulfilled due to a rearranged Dorset Senior Trophy clash, Balti travelled to Woodwater Lane looking for a fourth league win in five games.

In suddenly changing fixtures, Balti lost striker Ricky Lane and influential midfielder Ethan Devaney to work commitments.

Despite travelling with 13 men, Balti started well and nearly went 1-0 up only for Lloyd Beals to head wide from six yards.

Jack Drummond also missed a presentable chance and Balti were incensed when Beals appeared to be taken out in the box, with officials waving play on.

Gillingham recovered from a shaky start by exerting their authority on the match.

Rhys Mendham put Town in front, collecting his initial blocked shot and blasting the rebound past Balti goalkeeper Andy Nott.

Beals missed a difficult chance on the stretch before Balti needed Nott for a sublime save to deny Gillingham midfielder Samuel Paterson before half-time.

Che Curran went off with a groin injury as Balti’s second half began poorly and Gillingham took full advantage by making it 2-0 from the spot.

Scott Walker was the guilty party, tripping the Gillingham attacker in the box after a stray pass from the Balti defence. Elliot Bevis duly stepped up to send Nott the wrong way.

Nott kept Balti in the game, pulling off a stunning double save before adding three more stops to his impressive tally, but Liam Taylor was subbed with an Achilles strain as Balti’s defensive woes continued.

Danny Andrews saw an effort tipped over the bar for Balti but halved the deficit with a glancing header from sub Stef Stavrianos’ cross.

In a fast finish, Balti threw men forward in search of a point but were instead caught on the break in stoppage-time as Bevis crashed a shot against the inside of the post before converting the ricochet.

Speaking to Echosport, frustrated Balti boss Marco Nott bemoaned the lack of a penalty for the tackle on Beals.

He said: “It wasn’t an ideal start but the first 20 minutes we were the better team by a long way.

“We had two good chances and we had a huge appeal for a penalty.

“Lloyd got his legs swiped from behind him. He got in first from the defender and he kicked Lloyd instead of the ball. That was a pretty dead-cert penalty.

“After that, they took over and pretty much dominated.”

Balti: A Nott, Curran (Stavrianos 55), Walker, Taylor (Grace 65), O’Shaughnessy, McClements, Zima, Beals, Burrows, Andrews, Drummond.


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