McKechnie 25, 44, Bearwish 65, 78, 86, Clarke 58


Greenway 42

TOM Bearwish scored a second-half hat-trick as Portland dismissed Amesbury 6-1 at the Weyline Stadium in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

Ryan McKechnie’s first-half brace had given the Blues a 2-1 half-time lead after Luke Greenway equalised for Town, before Lewis Clarke’s goal preceded Bearwish’s treble.

The victory was interim boss Gary Bailey’s first in the three games of his tenure. He told Echosport the triumph was like getting “a monkey off our back”.

He said: “The half-time score didn’t really do our performance justice. We started really well and for 20-25 minutes we were on top.

“But we were wasteful in front of goal and we missed the target on four or five occasions.

“Amesbury wouldn’t say 6-1 was flattering. It’s always nice to get that win under your belt. It was important we got that, that’s a monkey off our back.

“Hopefully it gives us a bit of momentum and we can take it into the games coming up.”

Talking through the goals, Bailey felt his side’s first-half display “deserved at least a one-goal lead.”

He said: “We took the lead on 25 minutes and it was probably the least convincing on our efforts. Tom crossed it and Ryan hit a shot which just crossed the line.

“To take the lead with a scrappy one was ironic, but we then let a scrappy one in. Just before half-time we switched off and they caught us asleep, their lad ran through and slotted in.

“It was a bit of a kick but the lads responded magnificently and went up the other end with Alex Halloran swinging a corner in and Ryan smashing a shot into the corner. I felt that we deserved at least a one-goal lead.”

He added: “We got a third on 58 minutes, a cross came in and Lewis smashed home from close range. We went on to dominate but we were a little wasteful.

“Tom then picked the ball up and took a great shot in the bottom corner.

“Tom and Alex Godfrey combined on the edge of the box and Tom calmly finished, then Tom rounded off his hat-trick with a nice cushioned header at the back post.

“We played some good football.”

Portland’s victory, only their fifth at home this season, now leaves them in 11th place, having jumped up three places in a congested mid-table.

The Blues face AFC Portchester at home on Saturday (3pm).

Blues: Lillington, Smith (Sharpe 73), Butcher, Whyton, Bessant (Evans 73), Halloran, Doidge, Godfrey, McKechnie, Bearwish, Clarke (Mitchell 70)

Match Ball, Man of the Match and also Programme Sponsor: The Chip Shop Boys
Attendance: 121