Blues make FA Cup exit as Paulton win

Sunday 20th August 2017

PORTLAND United boss Simon Browne admitted it wasn’t the Blues’ day as they exited the FA Cup following a 3-0 defeat to Paulton Rovers at Grove Corner.

Strikes from Dale Evans, Sam Hillard and Jack Ball saw Rovers over the line and into the FA Cup first qualifying round, complete with a £1,925 prize.

And Browne told Echosport he was left to rue a good chance for Sol Ayunga, moments after Paulton had taken the lead in the eighth minute.

He said: “I just think we missed an opportunity, we didn’t play as well as we can do. At 1-0 down we missed a really, really good chance to get back into the game and I think had that gone in the afternoon may have turned out a little bit differently.

“We were chasing the game a little bit. I told the guys at half-time to grasp the opportunity. Then we conceded one early in the second half. At 2-0 we were really in a difficult position and we conceded a third.

“The scoreline flattered them a bit but they came down and did a professional job on us.

“There’s no shame to go out to a side in a higher league but there will have been sides that have been knocked out by sides in a lower league, and it wasn’t us.”

Evans grabbed an early opener for Paulton and Browne believes that good start helped settle the visitors down.

He said: “It would have calmed Paulton’s nerves. It was a ball crossed into the box and their player stooped low for a header into the corner.

“We could have defended it a bit better. We’ve got players in the side who are good enough not to get beaten by corners.

“Within a minute we should have been on level terms. There was a scramble in the box and Sol had a chance from five yards out. It was more difficult to miss and we managed to do it.”

Paulton then extended their lead after the break as Portland poured forward in search of a route back to parity.

“The second was a through ball, Sam Buckler was running back and the ball was bouncing and Sean (Lillington) misjudged it and left himself in nomansland. But it wasn’t that incident that cost us the game.

“Obviously we were stretched at that point. We’ve made some changes and put people forward. They got in behind us and finished from close range. It just wasn’t our day,” Browne said.

Blues: Lillington, Smith, Whyton, Buckler (Payne 60), Bessant, Doidge, Halloran, Mitchell (Diaz 70), Godfrey, Clarke, Ayunga (Camp 80)

Subs not used: Holland, Morris, Hibbs, Mutch

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