Portsmouth beaten by Dover

Ian Chandler
Ian Chandler
Gosport head coach Barry Bridgman

Gosport improvement needed against champions

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Portsmouth made a disappointing start to the London one south season with a 28-6 defeat at Dover.

The city club paid the price for not taking their chances, particularly in the first half when conditions were in their favour.

Playing up the slope, with the wind and sun on their backs, all Portsmouth could manage was a single Andy Barnes penalty for a slender three-point advantage at the break.

To make matters worse the visitors saw experienced forward Graham Butterworth yellow-carded in the final play of the first half.

Coach Ian Chandler said: ‘We tried too hard to force the game instead of being patient. We presented Dover with four chances and they scored from all of them. We had many more opportunities but failed to take them.

‘Our over-anxiety meant we either knocked on or gave a poor pass.

‘In the first half we must have spent 35 minutes in their territory and it was extremely frustrating.

‘The home side showed their experience by conceding penalties rather than tries.

‘We only kicked one out of three in the first half.

‘In reality we should have had at least 20 points which we could have defended comfortably.’

Portsmouth were soon playing catch-up in the second half as Dover established a 14-3 lead.

Barnes kicked a second penalty and, though Portsmouth had periods of pressure, another Dover try from a charged-down kick sealed the result.

‘After that we could see we were gone,’ said Chandler.

‘Hopefully it will be a wake-up call and a lesson learned for us.

‘We are still a very young side and for a number of players it was the first time they have played together.

‘The lack of cohesion showed.

‘On a positive note though, we dominated the line-out and Sandy Duffus our winger had an excellent debut.’