Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Team Solent v Portland United 15/09/18

Team Solent 2 Portland United 4

THE heading for this League Cup tie could read – Ethan Taylor 2 (1 pen) vs Jamie Symes 4 (1 pen) – but other players took part in this match as well!

Portland searched for an early goal with Symes looking dangerous, returning a pass to Bastick who fired firmly against the Sparks keeper Morella. Play became concentrated in midfield for a spell with forwards unable to make headway. Watts had a chance for the Blues, latching onto a Symes pass inside, he scooped his shot over. But, within two further minutes, United took the lead when SYMES peeled off from his marker to receive a Bessant cross at the far post and head home. A long ball then almost caught out Solent with Symes onto it but his strike on the bounce was off target. A different Portland move saw an eight-man passing play progress into the Solent box but Morella was able to gather. Solent were awarded a penalty when striker Demunga got behind the visitors defensive line and was taken out by Tewkesbury, the advancing United keeper, to concede a penalty; TAYLOR [pen] sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot and it was 1-1. Portland eased back in front when a Solent attack had broken down on the edge of their box, it was cleared and Beasley crossed to SYMES at the near post to apply a touch and a promising Solent situation had, within seconds, ended with concession. Morella prevented a further goal when Symes got his head to a Bastick free-kick whilst Bastick found space on the right and his low shot crept towards the gap in the far corner but struck the base of the post.

HT: 1-2.

Solent levelled four minutes into the second half with some good close passing between Stahler and TAYLOR the latter received the ball to be in on the keeper and his movement would have got top marks on that hideous primetime TV dancing show, his graceful sidestep left Tewkesbury for dead and enabled a simple tap in. Portland bounced back to retake the lead once again, SYMES being sent clear and net with a low shot to complete his hat-trick. Solent looked to come back again and a good move saw Taylor’s shot well blocked by Bessant. Walker put his own keeper under pressure with a back-pass but Tewkesbury cleared, but the defender popped up at the other end to shoot goalwards but Morella kept it out.

A key moment in the game came on 81 minutes when Hunt, pushed up to left midfield, crossed in, Taylor was there and was blatantly pulled back as he was shooting into the open goal but it went wide and the referee didn’t give a spot-kick. It could have been 3-3 had the penalty been scored and Portland a man down too; what is it they say – “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda?!”

Portland went on to score again, SYMES [pen] completing his four-goal salvo late on when McKechnie was tripped in the box by Byrne and he converted with a well-taken spot-kick. A Walker header from a Godfrey cross then struck the Solent post.

FT: 2-4.

In the final analysis the Portland side were a stronger and more seasoned outfit. Solent, missing a few today, showed good enthusiasm in the game, often caused Portland a few problems and kept going until the final whistle. It is Portland who progress though. [Gary Day]