PORTLAND United Reserves and Balti Sports played out a 0-0 stalemate on Saturday, despite Ethan Devaney and Sean Bessant going close in the Dorset Premier League.

Shots on target were at a premium as both sides were determined to take the bragging rights in this hotly-contested derby.

It was the Blues that could, and probably should, have gone in to the break ahead, as Balti keeper Andy Nott did well to save one-on-one with Derek Wall before Aston Butcher’s header from a Billy Mitchell corner found the side-netting.

At the other end, a low drive was comfortably saved by Ross Jones before the keeper was called on to save a free-kick from underneath his crossbar.

In the second half, the Blues applied the pressure with the best chance falling for Mitchell whose low drive struck the post and rebounded back out.

Balti had golden chances in the second half through Chris Reader and Devaney which could have won them the match.

Reader had a brilliant opportunity when, after a scramble in the box, the ball came to him when eight yards out, but his shot went just over the bar.

With 15 minutes to go, Nott again preserved the stalemate for Balti, with a superb stop to push an effort on to the post.

Devaney was then denied as the Blues cleared his shot off the line with two minutes to go.

In the dying minutes, Sean Bessant’s free-kick was superbly saved by Nott with his knees.

Portland manager Justin Faulkner said: “It was a good local derby contested and played competitively and in the right spirit.

“There wasn’t a lot of goalmouth action but I think we had the better chances to score and we should have done better with those.

“Both sides defended well but I don’t think any side wanted to give anything away.”

“We are happy to take a point against a very good side in DPL terms and we can take the positives of a clean sheet and the good chances we created which maybe we could have done better with.”

Balti boss Marco Nott added: “It was a very competitive game, it was very hard-fought and both teams had chances to win it.

“I thought the whole team were outstanding, defensively it was a real solid team display.

“For him (Andy Nott) to make that save, a save that definitely got us that point, shows that his shot-stopping is absolutely phenomenal.”

Portland United Res: Jones, Curran, Hankin, A Butcher, Anstey, Bessant, Bastick (Camp), E Roche, Wall (Stavrianos), Godfrey (Zima), Mitchell. Subs not used: T Butcher

Balti: A Nott, R Walker, Anderson, Proffitt, Taylor, Nichols, McClements, S Walker, Reader (Preece 70), Devaney, Lane. Subs not used: M Nott, Burton, O’Shaughnessy.

Ball sponsor: The Royal Manor of Portland Athletic Club


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