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Dorset Premier League: Super Swanage hit Portland with bunch of fives
BOSS Alan Lay hailed Swanage Town & Herston’s scalp of reigning champions Portland United after a third straight win lifted his side up to ninth.
After a stuttering start, which saw Swans register just one success from their opening 10 Dorset Premier League matches, Lay’s charges have hit back with 13 goals in consecutive victories, the latest being Saturday's 5-2 triumph at Portland.
Super Sam Beale, who has plundered seven of those strikes, helped light the blue touch paper at New Grove Corner by bagging a brace inside the opening half-an-hour.
Beale blasted his first with a smart turn and shot before United seized control through Ashley Smith’s swift leveller and Sanchez Jansz Baker’s sublime 25-yard effort.
However, the impressive Beale soon skipped past his marker and found the top corner from 20 yards before the match headed for stalemate.
But with 15 minutes to play, up stepped Swans showstopper Jacob Harrop to provide the ammunition for two far post headers – the first handing substitute Paul Best a welcome goal with his second touch – before his tidy|finish from 12 yards rounded off the scoring.
And while his midfield maestros took the full-time plaudits, Lay was quick to praise the team performance before reiterating his side’s need for consistency.
Lay told the Daily Echo: “It was a great day. The lads had to work really hard because Portland was always going to be a tricky place to play, but we thoroughly deserved our win.
“Both teams played some nice football and after we had taken the lead they came back very strongly.
“The second half was a real fight and they hit the crossbar, but once we got our noses in front their heads dropped while we got stronger and stronger.
“I was really happy for Paul (Best) because he has suffered with injuries, so to mark his comeback by scoring with his second touch was phenomenal.”
On his side’s remarkable upturn in fortunes, Lay added: “We have seen massive signs of improvement and I have been particularly pleased with the fight and spirit in the group. Their attitude has been spot-on.
“The lads have played nice football all season but got caught short a few times at the start when we were probably not quite fit enough.
“Now we have found our feet, we have to make sure we build on it – Saturday’s result becomes worthless if we let it all unravel next weekend at Tintinhull.
“We have named the same 14 players for the past three weeks now and that has made a massive difference.”
Swans: Huse, King, Cooper, Harding, Watson, Robinson (Parrott, 80), Beale (P Best, 70), Harrop, Reavenall-Nuete, Harvey (Cameron, 78), R Best.