Symes 23, 31, 33

PORTLAND United progressed to an FA Cup preliminary round meeting with Hamworthy United as Jamie Symes’ hat-trick set up a routine 3-0 victory over Solent University at the extra-preliminary stage.

Symes’ treble came within the space of 10 first-half minutes, first controlling and volleying home before burying a header from Max Buckler’s cross.

James Cox then swung in an inviting pass for Symes to grab the match ball, nodding the former Bridport midfielder’s delivery into Solent’s net to effectively end the contest.

Symes and Ben Morris also hit the woodwork as Solent, weakened amid the summer break, toiled at a windy Test


Portland wasted little time in making their ambitions clear as Symes rattled the bar with a header from Harry Hutchinson’s cross early on.

Brendon King’s men played with a gusting wind during the opening period and dominated possession, Morris also testing the home gloveman before Symes put the Blues 1-0 up, chesting the ball down to crash in a


Symes’ double-header then gave Portland a comfortable margin as goalkeeper Steve Boore was reduced to a near spectator for much of the half.

Despite facing the billowing wind in the second half, Portland created more opportunities with Ryan McKechnie and Alex Godfrey missing two excellent chances each.

Winger Morris, dual-signed with Dorchester Town, thumped a shot against the post from 25 yards as Portland pressed for a fourth.

Speaking to Echosport, King was pleased with the “good signs” Portland showed during the encounter.

He said: “It’s a great competition to play in and it’s what everybody wants.

“We showed some good signs so it’s certainly something to build on.”

King admitted Symes’ goal helped Portland relax into the match.

He said: “It helped us settle because for all the possession we had in the first half we were a little bit wayward with our final ball and our shooting.

Blues: Boore, Bessant, Hutchinson, McKechnie, King, S Buckler, Morris, M Buckler (Halloran), Symes, Godfrey (Rowe), Cox (Roche). Subs not used: Butcher, Green

Portland Man of the Match: Jamie Symes


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