CHICKERELL United finished with nine men as a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Portland United Reserves dumped the Chickens out of the Dorset Senior Trophy at the first-round stage.

Prior to the contest, Shaun Murphy’s men had an impressive record at the Stalls, winning each of their last three games and amassing 14 goals.

That form continued in the opening half as the in-form Clayton Heath yet again caused havoc with his delivery from a corner, Shane James tucking home after a defensive error.

Portland equalised following a mistake from Chickens’ goalkeeper Ian Bickerstaff leaving Josh Camp to sweep into the home net for 1-1.

Lapses in concentration were proving contagious as Portland keeper Josh Franklin this time presented Ben Miller with an unmissable chance following a swift Chickerell break led by Dylan Ellis.

But Chickerell’s own ill-discipline in defence cost them a second goal as Caleb Tennant scored from a free-kick just outside the Chickens’ area.

Just before half-time, Reece Frost scored what proved to be the winner for Portland as the Blues claimed a 3-2 advantage at the break.

A controversial second half followed as Heath, who was

sin-binned for dissent, then picked up a yellow card for a foul and was sent off when the second offence was in effect his first caution.

Camp was sin-binned for dissent before Chickerell’s James also earned an early shower for dissent.

Chickerell were now down to nine men but amazingly created a golden late chance for Matt Harvey, whose header was dramatically cleared off the line as Portland held on.

Chickens’ boss Murphy told Echosport: “It was one of those games, a bit disappointing.

“I think overall we were the better side.

“Maybe Portland didn’t do enough to win it, it was probably down to a few mistakes that both teams were making.”

Blues’ boss Chris Wilson, who in the event of a one-game ban brought in ex-Bridport boss Rich Robson to oversee proceedings, said: “It was a very important win for us.

“Being a reserve team we have up and down results, that’s to be expected.

“It was very important if we did go behind we stayed in it.

“We went behind twice and came back to win 3-2 so from that side, I’m very, very pleased.”

Chickens: Bickerstaff, Sandeman, Welch, James, Heath, Ellis, Miller, Harvey, Dewey, Etherington, Stickland. Subs not used: Price, Heggie, Carter