TEN-MAN Balti Sports nearly pulled off a late comeback but ultimately went down 2-1 to Westland Sports at Weymouth College in Dorset Premier League action.

At 2-1 down with seconds left to play, Balti were chasing an equaliser after Liam Taylor’s red card bizarrely jolted the hosts into life.

A late chance fell to Ethan Devaney but the midfielder blasted his shot against the underside of the bar as Westland survived to claim all three points.

Balti were looking to reinforce last week’s 2-1 win over Shaftesbury Town Reserves and made an ideal start as youngster Jack Drummond got on the scoresheet after 10 minutes.

Drummond latched onto a cross from out wide before turning and lashing a fierce shot in against the bar.

The goal was given by the referee despite the linesman not signalling the ball had crossed the line.

Westland felt aggrieved by the decision but Balti were in no mood to relent as exciting forward talent Stef Stavrianos rattled the post with a 20-yard beauty.

For all their dominance, Balti let Westland back into the game as several players stopped for an apparent head injury to Drummond.

No whistle came and Westland left-back Dan Newens gleefully ran 50 yards to set up striker Luca Martin to round keeper Andy Nott and score.

Balti designed their own downfall once more as an under-hit backpass from Devaney turned into the perfect through ball for Martin to collect, round Nott again and notch his brace before half-time.

Westland were in the ascendancy in the second half but failed to kill Balti off as a bad mis-control and two goal-line blocks from Balti denied the Yeovil-based side.

Balti defender Taylor then earned two quick yellows as the game turned again.

First, he was cautioned for handbags and earned his marching orders with a professional foul with Westland poised to go clean through.

Taylor’s red galvanized Balti, who created a golden chance.

Stavrianos created the opening on the right wing and Devaney crashed a shot against the bar at the back post as Balti came agonisingly close to a share of the points.

“It was unjust after a good performance in that first 30 minutes,” Balti boss Marco Nott told Echosport.

“To concede two really sloppy goals like that was disappointing. Ethan was outstanding, linking up play really well and he’s a good player.

“He just wanted to keep possession, which is fair enough, but it’s one of those things. If the pass was good we’d have switched it out wide and continued our attack, but it wasn’t to be.

“He tried doing the right thing but the execution wasn’t good.”

Nott added: “It was a really good performance in the last 15 minutes. We were pushing and pushing and should have scored an equaliser.

“It was a clear-cut chance. Unfortunately it’s hit the crossbar and come out, so we could’ve snatched a draw which might’ve been a fair result.”

Giving his final assessment, Nott said: “It was a spirited display, so I was quite upbeat about it all.

“Considering the age of our squad and missing Ryan Dovell and a few senior players, we had a lot of changes and I thought against a really solid, good side, we did really well.

“We were camped in their half the last 15 minutes, it was crazy.”

Balti: A Nott, Curran, Anderson, Taylor, O’Shaughnessy, McClements (Grace 80), Devaney, Stavrianos, Burrows (S Zima 80), Andrews, Drummond (Walker 70).


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