BALTI Sports slid to a 3-0 defeat at Blandford United as the Weymouth side suffered back-to-back Dorset Premier League losses for the first time this campaign.

Two weekends ago, Balti possessed a superb unbeaten league record but a 6-1 thrashing at Merley and a negative result at the Royals has hindered Sports’ progress.

As seems almost predictable at this time of year, Balti are experiencing a slump in form as the festive season approaches and, from the first whistle at Blandford, there were no signs of it stopping.

The visitors went 2-0 down in the opening 15 minutes as firstly Elliot Manson pounced on a cross for a tap-in following a clinical break.

Former Weymouth striker Mark Ford then doubled the Royals’ lead when his strike deflected in off Balti defender Josh Burton.

Balti saw manager Marco Nott go in goal after 20 minutes as brother Andy sustained an injury, forcing his substitution.

And the Balti boss dusted off his gloves to keep Blandford at bay with a superb double save before half-time.

In the second half, Balti upped their tempo and saw several chances go begging as Sammy Nichols clattered the crossbar with a header.

Centre-back Phil Anderson twice missed presentable opportunities while Jack Drummond also passed up a chance.

Having ridden out that pressure, Blandford stormed down the right and crossed for Sam Lyth to score his first goal for the club and put the result beyond doubt.

Speaking to Echosport, Balti boss Nott feared his side were stuck in their usual December “rut”.

“We’re a shadow of ourselves at the moment,” he said. “We’re feeling sorry for ourselves.

“We changed formation to five at the back which didn’t work – we conceded two in the first 15 minutes and took us out of the game quite quickly.

“I’m not surprised we lost. We have this rut every single year at the same sort of time.

“It’s two o’clock (kick-offs), we go away from home and I don’t know what it is – it’s like a hoodoo.

“We just don’t seem anywhere near as up for it as what we should be.

“We had most of the possession but we got counter-attacked twice and they were clinical. You’re always chasing after that, so it’s difficult to get back in the game.

“We stuck at it, didn’t throw the towel in and created the odd chance, but I didn’t have a lot to do – I made about three saves in an hour. Three-nil killed the game and they controlled it after that.”

Balti: A Nott (M Nott 20), Nichols, S Walker, Anderson, Burton, O’Shaughnessy, Kenderdine, McClements (Devaney 60), Stavrianos (Zima 75), Drummond, Lane. Sub not used: Dean.


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