PORTLAND United crashed out of the Dorset Senior Cup at the first round stage after a 2-1 defeat by Sherborne Town at a chilly Raleigh Grove.

It was the Blues' second cup exit in five days after the shootout loss to Well City in the FA Vase on Saturday.

Sherborne opted for something closer to their full starting line-up than the Blues as the two Wessex League sides pitted their wits against each other.

Portland, without ill boss Kyle Critchell on the sidelines and led by first-team coaches Josh Hickman and Shaun Bessant, made a sluggish start and Sherborne fully capitalised.

After Hayden Scott had seen his goalbound flick cleared off the line by Sherborne centre-back Josh Williams, not to be confused with Portland’s namesake midfielder, the Zebras dominated.

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Two goals in the space of four minutes proved to be sufficient for victory.

Aaron White grabbed the opener, sweeping home a tidy finish into the far corner, before 17-year-old Pat Jenkins followed up to drill home after Sam Gadsby’s block.

At 2-0 down after 19 minutes, Portland weathered further chances for each of the goalscorers before pulling a goal back with half-time on the horizon.

Brin Doyle was flattened by a clumsy tackle and Jack Delves stepped up to fire home the 20-yard free-kick, via fingertips from Zebras’ keeper Liam Norris.

Portland nearly snatched an equaliser prior to half-time, Crit Clarke’s low ball bundled behind for a corner and Gadsby then poking harmlessly at Norris.

In the second half, clear chances were rare but Doyle skimmed the side-netting with an ambitious volley as the Blues chased a leveller.

Sub Greg Borthwick and Clarke both steered tame injury-time efforts into the gloves of Norris as Portland exited the final cup competition available to them this season.

Speaking post-match, Hickman told Portland’s media team: “We were playing a Wessex Prem team, it was always going to be tough, especially away from home.

“It’s disappointing we lost but over the course of the game we’ve had enough chances to win it.”

Sherborne visit Bridport in the quarter-finals, while Portland now turn their attentions to Saturday’s home league game with Fareham (3pm).

Hickman added: “Saturday’s a great opportunity to get back on track. Our performances are matching up to results, in a way.

“I’m massively confident. We’ve played some really good teams. We just want to improve on every season and we’re on course to do so.

“Although it feels a bit negative because we started the season incredibly well, we’ve (only) lost two in the league and we’re doing well. We’re where we want to be right now.”

Hickman reported no injuries after the cup tie, meaning Portland should have a fully-fit squad to pick from against Fareham.

Blues: Bruton, Harvey, Clarke, Cleaver (Williams 46), Gadsby, Symes (Stuttle 46), Woolford, Delves, Scott (Borthwick 63), Coombs, Doyle (Butcher 63). Sub not used: Callow.