BALTI Sports’ boss Marco Nott admitted he cannot see the Dorset Premier League season finishing due to fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

Nott, speaking after his 10-man side lost 2-1 at Westland Sports on Saturday, feels any potential suspension could end the current campaign.

Having his say on the Covid-19 outbreak, he said: “We’re just doing the protocol on matchday where you can’t shake hands – that sort of thing.

“I said Saturday it would potentially be our last game – I don’t think the league will finish, to be honest.

“As soon as we get called off, I can’t see it coming back on. It’s different in the Premier League – they’ve got the facilities.

“A lot of our grounds have cricket pitches in the summer, so once we go into the summer we haven’t got that luxury and the cricket will take over.

“I just can’t see (the season) finishing, personally, but hopefully I’m wrong.”

At Westland, Balti rued a lack of creativity in defeat.

The visitors missed the chance to draw level on points with Yeovil-based Westland and remain seventh, three points off Bournemouth Sports in fourth.

Nott’s men lacked the guile and productivity of absent midfielders Charlie Kenderdine, Ethan Devaney and Sammy Nichols.

They were instead blessed with the energy and spark of youngster Stef Stavrianos, who continues to thrive in an attacking midfield role.

Stavrianos, however, was powerless to stop Westland taking the lead in fortuitous circumstances.

Josh Payne collected the ball deep in the Balti half and his misdirected cross sailed into the top corner, leaving Nott stranded in goal.

Just four minutes later, the impressive Stavrianos netted a beautiful free-kick from 20 yards out, lifting his shot up and over the home wall to equalise.

Thereafter, both sides blazed over half-chances while Balti were forced to clear a Tim Trevett cross off the line.

Balti had the wind at their backs in the second half but it was Westland who returned from the break with added impetus when Payne crossed for Sam Fuller who missed a presentable chance.

Balti’s Sean Zima then rattled the woodwork direct from a corner before Payne’s 25-yard rocket crashed off the bar.

Westland brought a more physical approach in the second half and, after winning numerous free-kicks on the edge of the area, finally converted for 2-1 through sub Lewis Morgan.

Balti’s task increased in difficulty when captain Scott Walker was sent off for a second yellow, lunging in with 15 minutes to go.

With Stavrianos already substituted, Balti lacked inspiration in the closing stages and slipped to a narrow defeat.

Speaking to Echosport, Nott praised the young star for his influence on the game.

He said: “We were against the wind in the first half and we arguably played our best football. Little Stef, we played him in his favoured role and he was outstanding.

“He was our best player on the day and our main threat creativity-wise. He looked dangerous at all times and showed good signs to me that, against a good side, he’s capable of doing it.”

Balti: M Nott, O’Shaughnessy, Anderson, Beals, Curran (Drummond 75), Taylor (Andrews 55), Dovell, S Walker, Stavrianos (Lane 65), Zima, McClements. Sub not used: Houghton.


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