Rowe (3), Symes

BAILEY Rowe smashed a stunning hat-trick as Portland United dumped Tadley Calleva out of the Sydenhams Wessex League Cup third round with a 4-1 victory.

Portland had needed penalties to progress against the Tadders last season but their mission this time was far easier as the visitors dominated from the off.

Max Buckler had the Blues’ first chance, timing his run well to meet a Ben Morris cross but only managing to head wide.

What followed was a moment of outrageous skill.

Morris was the supplier and Rowe, 12 yards out with his back to goal, backheeled a sensational effort beyond the despairing Tadley keeper for 1-0.

Tadley responded by hitting the post and returning goalkeeper Steve Boore was also called upon to deny a one-on-one chance as the hosts’ mounted a strong response.

Portland were pegged back in the second half as Tadley’s Andrew Charsley smuggled a finish over the line, his effort given as a goal by the linesman on the far touchline despite scarce celebration from the hosts.

Tadley were not level for long as Ed Bastick pinged a 50-yard ball over the top for Jamie Symes, who controlled deftly and opened his body up to slam for 2-1.

Portland capitalised on poor defending when the hosts attempted a pass-back to their keeper who hesitated, allowing Rowe to nip in and lift an effort over the keeper, head down and roll the ball home.

Rowe grabbed a superb hat-trick when Josh Williams found the striker in his own half, the British Virgin Islands international then running half the pitch before cutting inside and lashing past the keeper to complete his treble.

Looking for a fourth, Rowe smashed an effort against the post, while Williams and Mo Hereka both passed up opportunities as Portland chased a fifth.

Speaking to Echosport, Blues’ boss Brendon King said: “We played well in patches and I thought we dominated the game apart from a spell in the first half.”

Blues: Boore, Bastick, Bessant, Symes, Clarke (L King 75), Stewart, M Buckler (Hereka 70), Williams, Morris (Godfrey 65), Cox, Rowe.