PORTLAND United Reserves brushed off last week’s Dorset Premier League opening day nightmare, emphatically disposing of Shaftesbury Town Reserves at the Weyline Stadium.

Justin Faulkner’s islanders were thumped 9-1 by a rampant Blandford United in their opening fixture, but there was no sign of a lingering hangover from the drubbing.

Portland could have gone ahead on five minutes as Josh Camp’s free-kick smashed against the front of the crossbar after Tom Garbutt was felled on the edge of the visitors’ penalty box.

The breakthrough came on 24 minutes as Garbutt collected the ball from Billy Mitchell before unleashing a rasping drive high into the net despite the best interests of the away stopper.

Just before half-time Lance Wilson was the next player to test the woodwork as his long-range effort came back out off the frame of the goal before half-time.

After the break Portland regained the upper hand and on 55 minutes inevitably scored their second when Camp fired in Mitchell’s low cross.

Almost immediately the Blues added their third as centre back Louie James finished well following a goalmouth scramble from a Portland corner.

Portland completed the scoring on 70 minutes with Manny Roche netting a fierce drive in off the crossbar.

Post-match, Faulkner insisted the resounding win proved the Blandford loss was a “one off”.

“That was a world away from what I watched last week,” he said.

“We started on the front foot from the first whistle, we had energy and a sense of determination which had been missing.

“In training we worked on our defensive shape, we identified the weaker aspects of our game and the players put that into practice superbly well.

“I honestly could not pick anyone out as man of the match as everyone was on a par.

“That finally gets us up and running this season, we will enjoy this for a couple of days before we focus on our next game and start preparing in training for next week.

“What the players have done is set the benchmark for the performances we expect.

“This is the type of performance we were seeing in pre-season and goes to prove that the Blandford game was a one off.”

Blues’ Reserves: Hadley, Diaz, Riley (Pettitt), James, Hankin, Garbutt (To Butcher), Mitchell, Wilson, S Roche, M Roche, Camp.

Sub not used: Carter.

Attendance: 47

Ball sponsor: Dave Darby


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