ALRESFORD TOWN 0
PORTLAND UNITED 2
PORTLAND United secured a 12th straight league victory as they beat Alresford Town 2-0 in a professional display.
It was a fairly even opening with both sides having opportunities to take the lead, first with Alresford hitting a post from a set-piece, before Darren Watts skimmed the crossbar with an audacious effort from distance.
The Blues took the lead on 40 minutes when an Alex Halloran free-kick found Lewis Whyton, who managed to escape his marker to head home.
As the game reached the second half, Portland were firmly in control, working hard to limit the opportunities for the hosts to get back into the game.
They sealed the victory on 65 minutes when Watts fed the ball through to Ed Bastick who lofted the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.
The visitors had further opportunities to extend the lead, but island manager Gary Bailey was delighted with the professional display put on by his team.
He said: “I was delighted. As a manager that professionalism is what you aim to see. The lads listened to the coaches and myself at half-time and they executed what we asked perfectly.
“Our defence were just excellent, they kept Alresford at arm’s length and made them resort to long balls over the top which we mopped up and dealt with really well. But it isn’t just the back four, the midfielders and forward players play a part too with their energy levels and closing down.”
Bailey also took the time to praise his squad, emphasising that everybody plays their part.
He said: “I’m lucky, I have a terrific group of players in a deep squad, and they know that at the moment with the way they’re playing they need to perform to keep their place in the side.
“We’re rotating a little bit to keep things fresh but it shows the depth of the squad that we have first-team regulars on the bench.
They’re an honest bunch and they work really hard for each other, and when you’re up in the mix, my job is easy, the only hard part is just picking a starting 11.”
The Blues travel to Fawley on Saturday (3pm), and Bailey says his squad are feeling positive.
He said: “We’ve earned the right to be confident, but that confidence can’t slip into complacency and that’s the biggest danger when you’re in one of these runs. The lads relish it. They turn up, they get their minds on it and they go again.”
Blues: Lillington, Bessant (Camp 90), Whyton, Carmichael, Clarke, Buckler, Halloran (Smith 60), Watts, Bastick, Doidge, Godfrey (Clarke 70)