Symes 45+2, Bastick 73, McKechnie 90


Hodge 14, 47, Pope 66

PORTLAND United advanced to the FA Cup first qualifying round with a thrilling late 4-3 comeback win over Hamworthy United at the Weyline Stadium.

The Blues were arguably handed one of the toughest draws possible with previously unbeaten fellow Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division side Hamworthy.

Those thoughts looked to be confirmed early on when the Hammers went a goal up in the 14th minute through Eddie Hodge, who cut in from the left and beat Blues’ gloveman Steve Boore with a rasping finish.

Portland responded in excellent fashion with two goals just before half-time to deliver a body blow to their opponents.

Smart play down the right-hand side involving Jamie Symes, Alex Godfrey and Ed Bastick created a chance for Max Buckler 18 yards out, the former Dorchester man making no mistake with a rifled effort.

And Symes put the Blues 2-1 up at the break, playing a one-two with Sean Stewart before slamming home from 12 yards.

Hamworthy needed a quick response and got one courtesy of a poor back pass from Luke King, Hodge latching on to it, rounding Boore and slotting the chance away.

Portland barrelled forward in search of a third with Godfrey shooting over and Symes, Ben Morris plus Josh Williams all denied in front of goal.

Hamworthy then retook the lead on a rare attack when former Dorchester striker Ash Pope drove across Boore and into the far corner in the 66th minute.

Brendon King’s men played some attractive football in the aftermath of that concession and were rewarded in the 73rd minute as Bastick scored the rebound after Ryan McKechnie’s shot was saved.

McKechnie then popped up in the 90th minute to score a dramatic winner, ghosting in to head home a delicious Bastick cross.

Portland should have added to their tally as Hamworthy piled men forward, but Godfrey and Bailey Rowe both missed good opportunities.

Speaking to Echosport, King said: “It was deserved, I thought. We had to come from behind a couple of times but on possession and chances created it was deserved in the end.

“Anybody who was here watching really enjoyed it, especially as it was more a game for the neutrals – it gets a bit heart-stopping for everybody involved.

“Quite a few neutral fans said what a good game it was. It was ebb and flow but to get the win, the boys thoroughly deserved it.”

Portland await the first qualifying round draw after pocketing an extra £2,890 in prize money.

Portland: Boore, Bastick, L King, S Buckler, McKechnie, Stewart, M Buckler (Rowe 70), Williams, Morris, Godfrey, Symes. Subs not used: Hutchinson, Cox, C Clarke

Match and match ball sponsor: Tony Pidgley

Programme sponsor: Macca’s Tiling

Mascot: Jack Pearson

Portland man of the match: Ed Bastick