HORNDEAN manager Craig Pearce blamed his team’s poor passing for their Wessex League Cup exit away at division one outfit Portland United.
In a tight tie which went to extra-time it was the division one leaders who produced the quality moment in extra-time to win the tie.
I would have liked a good run in the cup but the league is our priorityCraig Pearce
In the 112th minute a stunning 25-yard volley from Ed Bastick beat Horndean goalkeeper Derek Harding to send the Dorset side through.
Pearce felt the strong wind played a big part in the match, disrupting the efforts of both teams at different stages of the contest.
‘Both teams had chances to win the game and whoever had the wind in their favour held the advantage,’ said Pearce.
‘In the end, there was a lack of quality in our passing and that is what cost us the game.
‘During the opening 45 minutes we found a lot of our efforts held up against the wind.
‘We looked the better team because we were getting the ball down and trying to play to feet.’
It was the home side who took the early initiative by grabbing a 12th-minute lead.
A wind-assisted pass enabled Portland to get in behind the Horndean defence and as a result Ross Boyd was able to scramble the ball over the line.
Harry Potter struck Horndean’s equaliser in the 54th minute.
Ryan Thomas produced a deep cross and Potter rose to head in at the far post.
Both teams had chances to win it in normal time.
In the end, it was the home side who produced the one piece of individual skill to snatch the win.
When the ball fell to Bastick he controlled it on his knee before crashing his shot past Harding from distance.
Pearce is now demanding his team bounce back quickly.
They take on Folland Sports in the league tomorrow night.
‘I would have liked a good run in the cup but the league is our priority,’ said Pearce.
‘The priority for me is to get a settled squad and a settled way of playing in the league.
‘We need to move forward. Some players have followed ex-manager Dave Carter to Moneyfields and others have left to go elsewhere.
‘Despite that there are still a lot of good players at the club.
‘It is a question of getting them match fit.
‘I am rebuilding the squad and I feel we just need a performance to settle everyone down.
‘My aim is no different to the previous manager and that is to achieve the highest-ever premier division finish for the club.
‘I am looking at least for a top-10 finish.
‘We don’t intend to let all the hard work of the previous management team slip.’
Horndean: Harding, Thomas, Tigwell, Hookey, Burt, Maddison, M. Smith, Pittman, Potter, Humble, A. Smith. Subs: Cass, Smart, Coker.