CO-MANAGER Franklyn Clarke lamented a poor second-half display from his Portland United side as Bournemouth Poppies took a comeback 2-1 win at the Camp & Satherley Stadium.

Josh Williams put the Blues into a ninth-minute lead before two late goals, including a controversial penalty, catapulted Poppies into the lead.

Portland still had time to hit the post twice late on in a petulant game but were forced to settle for an opening-day defeat.

Speaking to Echosport, Clarke said: “First half was good, I thought we controlled the game, created chances, movement was good.

READ MORE: Portland United 1-2 Bournemouth Poppies - match report

“Even when the game got erratic, scrappy and stop-start I still felt we were in control.

“We went in 1-0 at half-time. In terms of the first half it was job done but then you’ve got to have enough about you and repeat that.

“Why it worked in the first half was that we were great with the football. Second half we just didn’t do that at all and that plays into their hands.

“It just comes down to us not being good enough on the ball in the second half.

“They gained control because we didn’t dominate the ball like we should’ve, didn’t work it well enough from the back into the midfield and into our forwards.

“When you’re not brave enough to play, when you’re under pressure and getting pressed, the control and momentum is going to switch – and it did.”

Quizzed on Poppies’ use of the dark arts, Clarke said: “That’s what they do, that’s their game and it works for them.

“It didn’t work first half but you can’t just do things for 45 minutes. If we went out in the second half and had the same control and discipline as we did in the first, we win the game.

“It was a game of two halves. Having the mentality to be brave on the ball is a different strength to have.

“But it’s the first game. We’ve worked on it all pre-season. We will get better. We’re working on loads of different things, it’s a lot of information to take in.”

Clarke’s co-boss Sam Poole was adjudged to have fouled Poppies’ Joe Smith in the box for the penalty, although the consensus was the decision appeared soft.

Clarke said: “Sam said he hasn’t touched him and from where I was it didn’t look like he touched him either.

“That’s just how it is, the decision was made and (Carkeet) took it really nicely.

“You can look at the penalty but the build-up was where it went wrong.

“In terms of the second one, it just felt like a messy, chaotic game. The second goal summed it up.

“It was pinball in the box, scrappy and (Jevon’s) got his foot on it and tucked it away.

“The fact is we just didn’t keep the ball well enough, we didn’t manage the game.

“The message at half-time was about game management. Credit to Poppies, they had their game plan and it worked.”

On Portland’s finish to the game, he added: “A few set-pieces we were unlucky with but it’s tough when you’re chasing and the momentum’s swung.

“The momentum was with them but the last five, ten minutes we did put pressure on.

“It’s just disappointing to have the game in your hands at half-time and come out and not control it.

“First game, we’re not getting too down about it. It’s a long old season as we all know.”