Bungay 61, Manners 75, Elwick 79


Walbridge 18, Morris 77, Haensel 82 pen

PORTLAND United twice had to come from behind to rescue a 3-3 draw at Dorset Premier League champions Holt United in a hugely entertaining.

Troy Walbridge’s header gave the Blues a half-time lead against a Bulls side plying their trade two tiers beneath them.

But Holt blossomed to control the match thereafter as Scott Bungay and Chris Manners goals put them ahead.

Ben Morris levelled with a close-range volley before Corey Elwick scored a controversial third for the Bulls.

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Portland hauled themselves level again when Lee-Brad Haensel converted a penalty to complete the scoring in the 82nd minute of a frantic pre-season game.

Holt began the friendly in anything but the name as Archie Woolford was barged into the dugout wall in the fourth minute.

Portland should have taken the lead in the 13th minute when Walbridge found Woolford and his drag back was somehow blazed over by Bailey Rowe from six yards.

Young keeper Sam Moggeridge, whose signing was announced prior to the game, dealt well with a shot from Sonny Wilkinson before Rowe charged up the other end and was crowded out after a stepover.

However, the Blues got the goal their early promise deserved when Lance Wilson’s quality cross from the Portland right was headed home by Walbridge.

Holt then proceeded to dominate after the goal, Sam Herrington forcing Moggeridge into a tip-over save from a free-kick before both Wilkinson and Kyle Clement were denied by last-ditch blocks.

Ali Garard blazed over a good chance of his own making before Clement crossed for Bungay, the striker sending his headed effort wide when it seemed easier to score.

Holt continued in the ascendancy after the break when Moggeridge was forced into a good low save by Manners and the young keeper then pushed clear Jamie Power’s toe poke.

The Bulls charged on as Bungay’s volley was safely collected by Moggeridge, but the forward would have a deserved goal on 61 minutes when he swept home a flowing move from ten yards.

By now, Holt had firmly established their attractive passing game and were unlucky not to win a penalty when sub Ben Morris flew into a tackle in the box.

It came as no surprise when Holt took the lead, Manners slamming home from a tight angle despite fingertips from Moggeridge.

His goal was the first in a chaotic spell of four in seven minutes, Portland ensuring they were only behind for two minutes as Morris volleyed home a precise cross from Lee-Brad Haensel.

Holt then retook the lead in controversial circumstances in the 79th minute, Elwick striding through and beating Moggeridge despite guest linesman Josh Williams flagging for offside, his decision overruled by the referee who was up with play.

Portland again reacted superbly, Ryan McKechnie drawing a shove in the box to win a penalty and Haensel stepping up to slot home into the bottom-left corner on 82 minutes.

Morris skied a difficult volley over late on but a winner would have been unjust as Holt more than matched their higher-league opponents.

Blues: Moggeridge, Harvey, Diaz (Steele 58), McKechnie, Symes, Holloway (Gadsby 87), Woolford (Morris 49), Delves (Haensel 46), Rowe (Cleaver 46), Walbridge (Doyle 76), Wilson. Subs not used: Bruton, Stuttle, Williams.