POOLE TOWN 3

Moore 43, 45, Wright 75

PORTLAND UNITED 0

PORTLAND United were knocked out of the Dorset Senior Cup at the semi-final stage after a 3-0 defeat at Poole Town – but not after impressing against the higher-ranked Dolphins.

It means Poole will face the winners of Wimborne and Hamworthy United in the final.

Despite two divisions separating the sides, Portland made by far the better start and could have been 2-0 up inside 20 minutes.

Joel Hewitt had a shot blocked on the edge of the area and moments later fired at Dolphins’ keeper Will Butler after good work by Oli Lowes.

On 15 minutes Troy Walbridge and Marcus Smith combined well on the right touchline before the former zipped in a low cross to Hewitt, who scuffed his shot at Butler.

READ MORE: Portland United 1-5 Hamworthy United - match report

Smith then powered a 30-yard drive which had Butler scrambling to make a flying save.

Southern League side Poole responded when ex-Weymouth man Jack Dickson shot across goal and Tyler Forbes sweetly volleyed a corner well over.

Meanwhile, Portland were well marshalled by a nerveless display from debutant George Stuttle in central defence.

Dorset Echo: Portland United debutant George Stuttle enjoyed a fine game against the Dolphins Picture: IAN MIDDLEBROOKPortland United debutant George Stuttle enjoyed a fine game against the Dolphins Picture: IAN MIDDLEBROOK

At the other end, Poole had a defensive scare when Hewitt caught Butler in possession, the keeper lucky to get back and block the striker’s shot with his legs.

Ben Morris then lashed into the side netting after the corner was cleared and Poole midfielder Josh Carmichael was yellow carded for a nasty slide tackle on Blues’ boss Franklyn Clarke.

Carmichael headed wide for Poole before the Dolphins took the lead with a moment of quality from Corby Moore, the midfielder firing low into the bottom-right corner from 20 yards, aided by a slight deflection off Clarke.

Moore grabbed a fortuitous second on the cusp of half-time when his strike took a wicked deflection, again off Clarke, wrong-footing keeper Mike Edgar and ending up in the far corner of the net.

Portland were undeservedly behind at the break but Poole nearly added to their tally when sub Sam Jackson sizzled a shot at Edgar and Moore placed wide from a free-kick.

Portland responded with a goal chalked out for offside, Hewitt heading home Morris’ delightful cross.

Later on Edgar was booked for taking out Forbes, who beat him to the ball just outside the box, but Poole did notch their third when sub Sean Wright flicked home Forbes’ delivery.

Dorset Echo: Tyler Forbes caused problems for Portland in the second half Picture: IAN MIDDLEBROOKTyler Forbes caused problems for Portland in the second half Picture: IAN MIDDLEBROOK

Portland sub Greg Borthwick squandered a chance to pull a goal back, snatching at an effort when clean through.

Overall, this was a superb performance from the Blues in what was for many of their squad a first cup semi-final appearance.

Blues: Edgar, Thomas, Hutchinson, Stuttle, Poole, M Smith, Lowes, F Clarke (Wilson 78), Hewitt (Kelly 78), Walbridge (Borthwick 52), Morris. Subs not used: B Smith, Diaz.

Referee: Mark Derrien

Attendance: 161