Delves 39, Williams 50


TWO blockbuster long-range goals helped Portland United claim an encouraging 2-0 pre-season win over higher-league Hamworthy United at a blustery Camp & Satherley Stadium.

Dan Cann’s Hammers play one division above Kyle Critchell’s Portland after winning the Wessex League Premier Division in 2022.

However, the Blues were no respecters of reputation as thunderbolts from Jack Delves and Josh Williams gave them an impressive victory.

Playing their third game in five days, the Blues could have been forgiven for feeling lethargic.

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Yet their display was anything but as Luke Sheehy, set to agree dual terms, hit the post after Brin Doyle’s free-kick was saved.

Liam Sayers twice went close for Portland in two minutes, pulling a shot across the face of goal before slamming his second effort against the post.

Portland would be ahead one minute later, though, as Delves stepped up to power in a free-kick into the top-left corner.

And it took just five minutes of the second half for Portland to double their lead, Williams picking up possession 30 yards from goal and blasting home the hosts’ second.

Hamworthy countered with two big chances, home goalkeeper Harrison Bruton tipping clear a cross before the Hammers rattled the bar with a header.

But not only did Portland hold on to win, they preserved their clean sheet, delighting Critchell.

He told Portland’s media man Josh Barton: “The result was good but the performance was excellent.

“I saw a lot more of what we’ve worked on. It was a really good test, a really good game and I thought we handled the conditions really well.

“It was tough with the wind coming against us. We had to do the basics right.

“Before the game I printed a few things out, a few statistics, a few of our core values and principles that we talked about that made us a successful side last season.

“I saw more of us (on Saturday), that’s exciting and reassuring.”

He added: “We’ve got two more games left now and that’s a good benchmark for us to make more improvements before the season starts.”

Portland welcome Wincanton Town to Dorset for their next friendly on Saturday (1.30pm).

Blues: Bruton, Steele, Stuttle (Harvey 61), Williams, Bessant, Gadsby (Holloway 88), Doyle, Delves, Sheehy, Sayers (Symes 77), Morris (Cleaver 77).

Attendance: 180