Halloran 90+2


Dunn 2

PORTLAND United secured their fourth successive league draw after a controversial injury-time goal from Alex Halloran secured a point against Arlesford Town in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

The Blues conceded in the second minute when a long ball downfield was caught by the wind, which Blues’ keeper Sean Lillington went out to clear.

However, he got caught underneath the ball and from his attempted headed clearance the ball went behind him to find Geoff Dunn who headed the ball into the empty net to give Alresford the lead.

The home side managed to respond and had most of the possession for the match but the away side were resolute in defence.

Portland were making good attacks as Alex Godfrey, Lewis Clarke and Ryan McKechnie were getting themselves in good positions in the first half but the Arlesford defence did well to block their shots and get in the way of the moves forward.

The Blues were finding it difficult to break down the away defence and went ino the break a goal down.

The hosts picked up in the second half offensively with some good chances as Halloran had a shot that went just wide in the 75th minute.

Five minutes later, McKechnie spurned a good opportunity as he fired over from three yards out after the ball fell to him.

The Blues got the equaliser in the 92nd minute after breaking down the left-hand side before Tom Bearwish crossed in for Halloran to hit the ball into the top corner of the net with a half volley despite protestations from the visitors that the ball had gone out prior to the cross.

The visitors’ Aaron Blaxall seeing red for contesting the decision.

Portland boss Simon Browne said: “It would have been a bit of a travesty if we hadn’t got a point out of it.

“It is another of those games where you think what if but for a couple of half decent saves from the keeper or a bit of wastefulness in front of goal we might have snatched all three.”

Browne added: “Credit to the boys we stuck at it.”

“In the context of the game going into the 90th minute when we were a goal down to grab a point is pretty good.

“Overall it was a pretty decent performance from us.”

The result means Portland stay 10th in the table and the Blues’ next match is away against Bemerton Heath Harlequins, who are two points and three places behind them in the league.

Portland: Lillington, Smith (Mitchell 80), Butcher, Bessant, Zima, Doidge, Halloran, McKechnie, Beasley (Evans 70), Clarke (Bearwish 50), Godfrey


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