PORTLAND United returned to winning ways – and the top of the Magna Dorset Premier League – in comfortable fashion.

Having suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat at the hands of struggling Merley Cobham Sports in their previous outing, the Blues were determined to bounce back at the first attempt.

And they did just that at Grove Corner thanks to Ashley Smith’s brace, Lewis Whyton’s penalty and a late effort from substitute Joe Toghill.

Island chief Chris Wilson said: “We started the game a lot better, which was one of the key points to come out of the game last week.

“We were quick out of the blocks and we dominated the first 30 minutes of the game. We changed our shape a bit and we passed the ball around well.

“We said at the start that we wanted to improve defensively and give ourselves a better foundation going forward, which we did.

“We were a lot more purposeful with the ball and smarter with our selection.

“We created quite a few decent chances before we scored with a smart finish from Ash on the edge of the box.

“We should have had a penalty before that but we did get one in the end and Lewis tucked it away.

“Our third came from a great pass by Carl Mutch, which put Ash clean through for his second.

“Going 3-0 up at half-time you are always wary of the opposition coming back at you.

“They did but without being disrespectful I can only remember one opportunity where they perhaps should have scored.

“They also felt they should have had a penalty but I guess it evened itself out.

“The second half was a bit of a stalemate really but we were always a threat on the counter. We had two or three chances before we managed to get the fourth through Joe.

“We had 10 players out and when you look at the calibre of the players missing, including some Dorset Premier League representatives, it was pleasing to see us come out with a win.”

Next up for Wilson’s men is Saturday’s trip to Wareham Rangers in the first round of the Dorset Senior Cup.

Blues: Bickerstaff, Dailey, Harris, Whyton, Carmichael, Doidge (Turner 80), Skelton, Reader, Smith, Conning (Pattison 65), Mutch (Toghill 65).