Shoot-out drama as Portland United advance against Dorchester Town

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport


Portland United secured their place in the next round of the Dorset Senior Cup with a dramatic shootout win over Dorchester Town at the Avenue.

Sean Lillington saved Matt Oldring’s penalty – the 26th of the shoot-out – to win it for the Blues.

Before that, the teams played 120 minutes of football that, at times, was difficult to watch as they battled to a 0-0 draw.

But, with the score set at 11-10, Oldring’s spot-kick down the middle was saved, sending the Blues’ bench into raptures.

There were changes for both sides from their weekend fixtures. For the Magpies, Mark Jermyn, Ollie Bassett, Joe Lea and Mario Mateus all came into the starting line-up and Nathan Walker moved from up top into the heart of the defense.

For the Blues, captain Lewis Whyton came into the line-up in what was their only change.

And it seemed to pay dividends early on as the visitors controlled proceedings, playing some nice, flowing football and the hosts – two divisions above their opponents – struggled to get out of the blocks.

This was best personified by stand-in keeper Jordan Mullis. A weak effort from former Magpie Jamie Beasley was fumbled by the stopper and he had to scramble back to stop it going over his own goal line.

This scare woke the hosts up and they had a golden chance to open the scoring in the 23rd minute. Some lovely, intricate play from Yeovil Town loanee Ollie Bassett saw him force a save from Sean Lillington.

On the rebound, Lewis Morgan had the goal at his mercy but, he could manage putting the ball into stand from six yards.

Neither side were able to really stamp their authority on the game as the half continued. Ed Bastick caused some problems down the wings and probably should have done better with a shot at a tight angle – only managing to hit the side netting.

But, the best chance of the half came just before the interval in quite comical fashion. A corner was not properly cleared and it was lofted back in.

Bedlam ensued as player after player tried to find the target only to see their effort half blocked.

It finally fell to Walker but, again, that was blocked and it fell into Lillington’s arms.

At the break Dorchester made two changes bringing both Tom Blair and Chris Dillon on for Ben Wood, who had a poor first half that was littered with mistakes, and David Jerrard.

Ross Carmichael had a good chance from a free-kick for Portland just after the interval but, his free header went up rather than at the goal from close range.

Bad news soon followed for the Magpies as, in a 50/50 challenge, their player-manager came off worse and was writhing in pain. There was no way he could play on and Billy Mitchell was used as their last change of the night.

Things went from bad to worse for the county town side soon after. Joe Lea pulled up lame and was forced to come off, reducing the home side down to 10 men for the rest of the game with half an hour to play.

The double change at half-time was probably now a regret for Jermyn.

With the man advantage, the Blues went in for the kill. A good, early cross from Beasley found Alex Godfrey, who forced Mullis into a save – the rebound was cleared well by Oldring under pressure.

Dorchester’s best hopes now lied on the break and Mateus instigated one, finding the head of Walker, who was now up front alone, but, his header lacked power.

Not much happened as the game edged its way to extra-time.

There was some late drama as Mateus nearly forced Whyton to put the ball into his own, only for Lillington to mop it up. Into extra-time we went – something neither side would have wanted.

The pattern of play – a midfield battle – continued into extra-time. Max Buckler put a low, driven effort just past the post for the Blues.

The first shot in anger for quite some time. Soon after, Richardson headed wide for the visitors.

The best chance of this period fell with just two minutes to go. Darren Watts found himself clear on goal and he drove it at Mullis only to see Chris Dillon fly in to deflect it over the bar. This sent us to penalties.

Fittingly, the spot-kicks went to sudden death and it took a good save from Lillington to keep out Oldring’s penalty to win it for Portland after a wonderful display of finishing from both sides.

Magpies: Mullis, Jermyn (Mitchell 55), Wood (Dillon 45), Bassett, Walker, Oldring, Lea, Morgan, Jerrard (Blair 45), Mateus, Martin. Sub not used: Smeeton

Blues: Lillington, Doidge, Clarke, Carmichael, Whyton, McKechnie, M Buckler, Halloran, Godfrey (Richardson 70), Bastick (Clarke 49), Beasley (Watts 94) Subs not used: Mutch, S Buckler

Referee: Niall Clinton (Poole)

Bookings: Magpies – Morgan, Bassett

Blues – Bastick, Beasley, McKechnie