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Match report | Portland United (A)

By: Neil Walton – Dorset Echo Sport | @EchosportNeil

PORTLAND UNITED 2 (Stewart, Butcher)
DORCHESTER TOWN 2 (Wright, Bath)

Dorchester Town were pegged back in their pre-season friendly with Portland United who deservedly took a 2-2 draw at the Weyline Stadium.

A slow burning first half came to life courtesy of a misjudgement from Magpies’ keeper Shane Murphy, who failed to deal with Sam Buckler’s downward header, affording former Dorchester midfielder Sean Stewart a simple header from three yards.

The visitors responded well and soon notched two goals in three minutes when Sean Wright flicked home Tom Bath’s cushioned header before Bath tucked home into an empty net when Charlie Davis saw an effort saved by Blues’ keeper Ash Green.

Portland looked to be heading for defeat, only for Alex Halloran’s dangerous inswinging corner to be glanced home by Aston Butcher in the 89th minute.

This fixture presented both teams with a well-contested workout as ninth-tier Portland pushed seventh-tier Dorchester hard in the opening exchanges, Kyle Egan remaining alert at the back post to head clear Jamie Symes’ 10th-minute effort.

Dorchester responded as Dom Panesar-Dower side-footed wide before Bath poked a shot at Blues’ keeper Ash Green when clean through.

Magpies’ centre-back Callum Rose then trod on the ball, allowing Symes to shoot at goal and although his effort was blocked, the Portland forward volleyed straight at Murphy second time around.

But another Dorchester error was punished two minutes later as Stewart pounced at the far post to bury the loose ball after Murphy misread Buckler’s header in the 33rd minute.

Murphy would have been relieved three minutes later when Bath’s excellent nod down found Wright, who nudged home in space after Portland failed to track his run.

And an incisive ball in the 38th minute found Davis, whose parried shot at goal was tapped home by Bath.

Billy Lowes could have scored a third before half-time but slid an effort wide before Portland’s Josh Howell curled wide of the far post after good work from Mo Hereka.

A raft of changes followed in a quieter second half but Magpies’ sub keeper John Ross athletically tipped Bailey Rowe’s header onto the bar before Eder Batista spurned two solid late chances.

Portland matched their opponents in the second half and were rewarded when Butcher’s header nestled in the far corner to earn an equaliser.

Magpies: 1. S Murphy (13. A Trialist 45′), 2. K Egan (16. J Brookes 45′), 4. N Martin, 5. D Strugnell © (3. T Sa 45′), 6. S Wright (9. N Nixon 45′), 7. D Panesar-Dower (15. A Diaz 45′), 8. B Lowes (16. J Williams 45′), 9. T Bath (4. E Batista 45′), 10. C Davis (11. S Lanahan 45′), 12. O Lowes (17. B Morris 45′), 14. C Rose (18. A Trialist 45′). Subs not used: 19. C Gosney, 20. A Toland.

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