PORTLAND United boss Simon Browne spoke of the importance of collecting three points against lowly Petersfield Town after the Blues’ 3-1 Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division win.

The Rams had stunned Browne’s men earlier in the season with an injury-time equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw at Grove Corner.

But an own goal and a Ryan McKechnie double helped the Blues to victory at Love Lane, despite Joe Boxall’s late consolation.

Browne was also unhappy with the Petersfield playing surface.

He told Echosport: “We probably took them a little bit too easy when we played them at home. That was the important thing, to make sure that we didn’t slip up like we did at home and get the three points on the board.

“But the conditions and surface we played on did act as a bit of a leveller. The pitch was not great at all. It looked like it had had 100 games on it, not 10.

“There wasn’t any opportunity to get the ball down and pass it around. The surface was poor.”

Talking through the goals, Browne was pleased to get an early goal, which “settled” his side.

He said: “The first goal was an oggy actually. Billy Mitchell whipped in a low dangerous cross but their centre-half decided to put it in the net himself.

“That was early on so it settled us down a bit, but the pitch was not conducive to playing football.

“They actually had a couple of half-chances. One of their lads got through and beat the offside trap and Sean Lillington smothered that,” Browne said.

“They had a couple of snapshots from the edge of the area but nothing that worked us.

“Ryan McKechnie scored two goals in the second half and that was down to the pressure we put on them.

“The only slightly disappointing thing was we conceded with five minutes to go, we just got a little bit lax.

“It wasn’t dissimilar to the one against Andover. It would have been nice to get a clean sheet but the important thing was to win the match,” Browne added.

Portland’s victory consolidates their position in 12th, moving them level on points with Alresford Town, who have two games in hand over the Blues.

Browne’s men return to action tomorrow night (7.45pm) at Grove Corner against Bournemouth FC, with the Poppies lying directly behind Portland in 13th, four points adrift.

Blues: Lillington, Smith, Butcher, S Buckler, Morris (Payne 70), Mitchell (Camp 70), Doidge, McKechnie, Halloran, Baker, Godfrey (Ayunga 77). Sub not used: Mutch


t: 01305 830990

e: neil.walton


twitter: @EchosportNeil