Slade 43, Matthews 85


Stewart 17, McKechnie 23, 44, Beasley 65

PORTLAND United claimed a ninth win in 10 games as the Blues overwhelmed Bemerton Heath Harlequins 4-2 in their Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division clash at the Clubhouse.

Brendon King’s men missed a succession of chances in addition to the ones they took as an excellent display extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions.

Portland’s sequence of positive results stretches back to the 7-1 Dorset Senior Cup thrashing at Poole Town and, for a while, it seemed the Blues may have claimed a similar scoreline of their own after a blistering first half.

Sean Stewart cashed in on a strong start from the visitors by volleying home Jamie Beasley’s corner from six yards in the 17th minute.

Ryan McKechnie quickly doubled the Blues’ advantage when latching on to a ball from Darren Watts before lashing a drive across the Bemerton goalkeeper into the far corner on 23 minutes.

Beasley missed a stand-out chance to make it 3-0 after beating four defenders on a dazzling run, before Bemerton halved their deficit two minutes before half-time when Jack Slade buried a header at the far post.

However, Portland re-established their two-goal lead immediately from the kick-off as Ross Doidge’s long ball was flicked on by Jamie Symes to McKechnie, who strongly held off the covering defence to score a fierce half-volley for 3-1.

Following the interval, Salisbury outfit Bemerton came out the better side but were punished for not capitalising when Portland hit a fourth.

A move involving around 25 passes conjured a missed header from McKechnie at the far post before Beasley claimed his goal, cutting inside and firing home on 65 minutes.

With five minutes left, Bemerton added a consolation when Jordan Matthews struck superbly from 30 yards past keeper Mike Edgar.

Speaking to Echosport following the win, which keeps the Blues in second place, King believed the scoreline could have been extended.

He said: “We’re pleased, we played quite well in patches. We thoroughly deserved it and it could’ve been a lot more if we’d have been more clinical.

“We’ve just got to keep going. We’re doing something right to be in that position.

“To carry on winning games we’ve got to be more clinical, a little bit better defensively – I want to see a few more clean sheets.”

Portland visit Lymington Town on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

Blues: Edgar, Doidge, Whyton, S Buckler, C Clarke, Stewart, M Buckler, Watts (Halloran 70), Beasley (Richardson 67), McKechnie, Symes (S Roche 75)


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