PORTLAND United swept into the Dorset Senior Cup semi-finals with a 4-2 win over Verwood Town at Grove Corner.

Alex Godfrey bagged a double, while the Blues also added strikes from Alex Halloran and Jamie Beasley, with Portland’s goals bookended by Kris Anderton and Joe Kimber efforts.

Simon Browne’s men are one of two Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division sides left in the competition after Shaftesbury Town beat Bridport 3-1.

Speaking to Echosport following the tie, Browne admitted his aim was to avoid handing Verwood a “foothold” in the match.

He said: “It’s about getting through against a side in a lower league. I said to the guys to do a professional job and don’t give them a foothold in the game.

“But they went ahead after 15 minutes with a fortuitous goal. Lee Sharpe ended up hooking it into his own net.

“We equalised with a good goal with Jamie Beasley and Alex Godfrey. After that it was about killing them off. The second was a through ball. Jamie went one-on-one and clattered it past the keeper.

“I was just in the process of taking him off, he was a bit miffed about that. Alex Halloran came on and scored within a couple of minutes of coming on. Then he set up Alex for the fourth.”

Portland’s manager was unhappy with the concession of both Verwood goals, but conceded that progression was the sole aim.

He said: “It’s really about getting the win. I was happy we won the game 4-2. I guess being critical we have conceded a silly own goal and the Sean (Lillington, goalkeeper) dived over one.

“Theoretically we could have scored four or more.”

Browne also paid credit to the Potters, who have been struggling for form in the league below the Blues this season.

“They battled well and stuck to the task. I’m surprised they’re down at the bottom of Wessex One, they showed more than I expected. They got tanked by Hamworthy but it may be that they’ve suffered a lack of confidence.”

The Blues’ boss added that he has no preference over who his side faces in the last four, with the draw due for late January.

“There’s two Wessex League sides and Poole are the strongest side left in it. After that I guess Wimborne – they are flying at the moment.

“If it was Wimborne it would be nice to see some old friends,” said the former Wimborne manager.

Blues: Lillington, Sharpe, Buckler (Bessant 55), Butcher, Zima, Doidge, Mitchell (Smith 75), McKechnie, Beasley (Halloran 60), Bearwish, Godfrey. Sub not used: Evans