Delves 48, Bent 87


TWO moments of quality in an otherwise error-strewn match gave Portland United the tonic of a 2-0 victory over Laverstock & Ford at the Camp & Satherley Stadium.

The win ended a six-game winless streak for Kyle Critchell’s men, stretching back to a 6-0 thrashing of Lymington nearly two months ago.

In a whirlwind first half played at what felt like 100mph, both teams struggled to retain possession or display any kind of composure.

The tone was set by Portland keeper Harrison Bruton’s mistake that led to an indirect free-kick in the fifth minute, although he made amends by springing low to his left to palm away Justin Bennett’s effort.

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Portland were agitated by a tackle on Ben Morris that yielded no foul, but the Blues’ irritation perhaps more stemmed from a lack of productivity in front of goal.

Their best chance of the half did not even come off a home boot, as Lavvy full-back Jude Jeffery hacked a cross from the left against his own post.

Lavvy then hit the bar on 38 minutes when Chae Sykes curled a dipping shot from 25 yards with Bruton beaten.

Onlookers sensed the deadlock would only be broken by a moment of quality and it arrived three minutes into the second half.

Seconds after Greg Borthwick saw a goal ruled out for offside, Portland won a free-kick near the D and Delves curled a peach of a free-kick into the top-left corner for 1-0.

Lavvy nearly hit back within 60 seconds, though, as Sykes drilled wide of the far post before Jake Watson headed over a corner amid a forest of bodies.

Morris responded with a tame shot after cutting inside from the left and Borthwick fired over from 25 yards as the chances did at least come more frequently than the first half.

Josh Williams, by a clear distance the man of the match, was denied from 20 yards by Lavvy keeper Alex Aguer prior to Lavvy putting together their best spell of the game.

Portland weathered the pressure well and set sub Aidan Shepherd away on the break, only for Aguer to deny the striker.

Shepherd also spurned a one-on-one chance by hesitating to shoot but the hosts made sure of the points three minutes from time.

Sub Bent’s clever stepover allowed him to light the ignition boosters and power into the area before slipping a clinical finish underneath Aguer for 2-0, sealing Portland’s first win since mid-January.

Blues: Bruton, Wickham, Callow, Williams, Gadsby, Symes, Doyle, Delves (Clarke 83), Borthwick (Cleaver 75), Coombs (Bent 60), Morris (Shepherd 60). Sub not used: Harvey.

Attendance: 110.

Match sponsor: Tilleys Motorcycles.

Man of the match sponsor: Vic Holland.

Match ball sponsor: Kath Sanderson.

Programme sponsor: Steve Smith Building.

Mascots: Portland United Under-14 girls (sponsored by Advoco).