BALTI Sports were unlucky to come away from reigning Dorset Premier League champions Hamworthy Rec with a 4-3 defeat.

Rec, who have applied for promotion to Step 6, have long been the stand-out Dorset side at Step 7 level.

But in the first fixture of the newly created DPL Supplementary Cup, Balti had the opportunity to catch Rec cold in Group B – and they nearly did.

Balti started brightly but went behind against the run of play when Sam Carter rolled home a tap-in.

Marco Nott’s men grabbed a deserved equaliser when Liam Taylor’s inch perfect through ball set up flying forward Matty Burrows to cut inside and score.

Rec then took control in midfield and netted a fluky second when Michael Hubbard’s 45-yard shot looped off the covering defence and over Balti keeper Andy Nott five minutes before half-time.

Balti again took the game to Rec with good shape and a counter-attacking threat in the second half and saw a Stef Stavrianos header ruled out for offside.

Seconds later, Ham Rec went 3-1 up with a clinical strike from sub Joe Smith who latched onto a lobbed through ball to rifle past Andy Nott.

Stavrianos got the goal his performance warranted when he rounded the keeper for 3-2 and from then on Balti laid siege to the Rec goal.

Sub Josh Grace sent two efforts astray, while Ryan Dovell and Burrows also missed chances.

Balti’s wastefulness proved costly as Carl Edwards lifted a delicate chip over Andy Nott from eight yards for 4-2.

Balti fought on as Dovell squared for Burrows to set up a grandstand finale.

Burrows spurned an excellent chance for his hat-trick and centre-back Lloyd Beals sent a free header off target late on as Rec narrowly saw the game out.

Sports’ boss Marco Nott told Echosport: “The lads were outstanding, we got stuck into it from the first whistle. Our dedication, shape and everything I could not fault, I was really proud.

“First game back, Ham Rec away is a harsh gig.

“I think we thoroughly deserved at least a draw. I’ve got a lot of respect for Ham Rec, they’re an amazing team and a good bunch, but I don’t think they could argue if it was a draw.”

Balti travel to arch-rivals Dorchester Sports today (7.45pm).

Balti: A Nott, Zima, Walker, Beals, O’Shaughnessy, Dovell, McClements, Taylor, Burrows, Lane (Grace 60), Stavrianos. Sub not used: Drummond

Balti man of the match: Liam Taylor


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