Westbury ground out a vital victory with two fine headed goals, but it took some strong defending, particularly by Ally Bradley with several excellent clearances, to deny bottom of the table Portishead a point in very windy conditions.
United went at their visitors from the beginning and, after some fine saves by Mike Bawn to deny Simon Millard, Mark Young and Nathan Hallett, the fully deserved opening goal came on 15 minutes when Hallett’s corner was met by Young’s bullet header with the ball flying past Bawn.
Town’s only chance of the half came when debutant home keeper Rob Brown (playing due to Alex Shaftoe’s suspension) gifted the ball to Matt Cartwright but then made amends with an excellent save.
Young and Hallett both went close to doubling the lead before half time with Young curling a 20 yarder just wide and Hallett forcing Bawn to save a well struck free kick.
Portishead drew level straight after half time with Sam Trueman firing in a brilliant strike from long range, but his side were reduced to 10 men soon after, following an incident between Hallett and Cartwright which saw the home player cautioned and Cartwright sent off.
Westbury took advantage to step up the pressure and Millard shot wide after good play by Dan Hurkett, then Adam James raced into the box before drilling a low cross-shot across the face of goal!
The winning goal came on 68 with Simon Millard heading a fine Hallett cross beyond Bawn who then kept his team in it by saving well from Charlie Walton and Millard. However it took Bradley’s strong defending to clinch the points for United when Town pushed men forward and threatened to create chances to equalise again.
*STAR MAN – Ally Bradley (Westbury United). TEAM – Rob Brown, Ally Bradley, Dan Precup, Matt Friendship, Nathan Hallett-Young, Dan Hurkett, Adam James, Charlie Walton, Simon Millard, Mark Young, Nathan Hallett. SUBS – Wayne Wheeler (used) Joe Edwards, David Whyte, Joe Moloney, Nick Taylor (unused).