(Wells win 4-3 on penalties)

PORTLAND United were on the wrong end of an FA Vase upset as Wells City advanced to the third round with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory.

Step 6 side Wells knocked out Portland’s fellow Step 5 team Laverstock & Ford in the first round and showed plenty of heart in this tie after a rocky first half.

Portland, aiming to reach the third round for the first time in their history, were dominant as Wells temporarily went down to ten men for dissent.

Ben Morris teased a big save from Harley Wilkinson with an overhead kick before Ryan McKechnie’s bullet header was pushed clear.

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Wells had their full complement restored on the half hour mark but Wilkinson was lucky to avoid a calamity when Brin Doyle was adjudged to have handled in a charge down, his tap-in ruled out.

However, Portland made good on their bright first half when Morris picked out Doyle to blast a volley beyond Wilkinson in the 40th minute.

On an increasingly heavy pitch, Wells went more direct and won a penalty 25 minutes from time, only for Harrison Bruton to superbly save Tom Hill’s effort.

Portland sub Luke Sheehy then nearly scored within two minutes of coming on, forcing Wilkinson into a good save with his feet.

He was rewarded on 77 minutes as Wells equalised, Harry Warwick finally beating Bruton.

Portland pushed for a late winner as Doyle blazed over and a deflected McKechnie shot whistled wide.

Kyle Critchell’s men could not find a second goal and, just as in the previous round at Falmouth, penalties were needed.

Jamie Symes and Joe Wickham successfully converted for the Blues in a flawless two rounds.

Portland would blink first though as McKechnie missed, before Wells punished the error for 3-2.

Top-scorer Greg Borthwick levelled at 3-3 for the Blues, who were given a lifeline when Bruton saved from Hill for the second time.

However, Doyle’s miss in the final round gave goalkeeper Wilkinson the chance to fire home the winner and he made no mistake, sending his team into ecstasy.

Critchell told Echosport: “We were outstanding in the first half, one of the best 45 minutes I’ve seen us play. Unfortunately, we didn’t take more of a lead into that second half.

“They came out and made it really difficult. We still had chances to win but ultimately it was those fine margins that took us to penalties.

“It was a lottery, I have to commend everyone that took one, it takes great bravery to do so.

“We’re gutted for everyone that travelled. The people that did travel were amazing and clapped us off at the end.

“I’m nothing but proud of the way they conducted themselves but, probably yes, there is a missed chance there to go through.”

Portland visit Sherborne Town in the Dorset Senior Cup on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Blues: Bruton, Harvey, Callow, Williams (Coombs 78), Bessant, Symes, Wickham, McKechnie, Borthwick, Doyle, Morris (Sheehy 72). Subs not used: Gadsby, Clarke, Delves, Scott, J Lucas.