BALTI Sports delivered a comeback win against the odds as Blandford United succumbed to a 3-1 Dorset Premier League defeat at Park Road.

Sports duly collected their fourth successive victory – and third on the road – extending the gap to Gillingham in fifth to eight points after the Gills drew 1-1 at Parley.

Balti’s form looked set to sustain a blemish as the visitors went 1-0 down in the 11th minute when a long throw-in was punched out by goalkeeper Andy Nott.

Blandford collected possession and a scuffed shot deceived the Balti defence before Paul Ford tucked home six yards out.

After the shaky start, Balti grew into the game but could not find a way past the Royals’ defence before half-time.

However, that picture changed when the outstanding Sean Zima cut in from the left and curled a sumptuous 20-yard shot into the far corner to equalise.

Danny Andrews, fresh from his hat-trick against Swanage Town and Herston last time out, then settled the contest with a superb brace.

His first came from 18 yards as the striker smacked a first-time effort beyond the home goalkeeper to put Balti 2-1 up before bettering his strike with a belting 25-yard shot after dispossessing a Blandford defender.

Andy Nott then hurled himself to deny former Weymouth hitman Mark Ford in the latter stages as Balti sealed another impressive win despite fielding a squad shorn of numerous first-team players.

Speaking to Echosport, boss Marco Nott offered high praise for his troops.

He said: “I feared the worst because it’s a tough place to go. We had the bare 11 with two players that have retired.

“One was being sick on the sidelines in the warm-up so it was an absolute nightmare. We went 1-0 down and we looked like we were feeling sorry for ourselves.

“But we got back into the game really well and came out second half a different team – absolutely outstanding. I was so proud of our performance.”

Nott also hailed midfielders Ryan Dovell and Charlie Kenderdine for their impressive displays.

He said: “Ryan and Charlie were outstanding. Those two were immense in the midfield, their energy was key. They won their midfield battles and were all over the pitch.

“Even at the end one crossed to the other one in the box – I thought it would be nice to secure the 3-1 and we’ve got two of our midfielders passing to one another in the box.”

Balti round off their season at Westland Sports on Saturday.

Balti: A Nott, Lock, S Walker, Pearce, L Taylor, Zima, Kenderdine, Dovell, Nichols, Andrews, Lane. Subs not used: M Nott, Hicks


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