POOLE Town kicked off the defence of their Dorset Senior Cup crown with a comfortable victory over Portland United, but boss Tom Killick insists "our season is very much fixated on the league", writes Jack Tanner.

Dolphins thumped the Wessex Premier side 7-1 on their way to last year’s triumph thanks to six goals from Cherries youngster Jake Scrimshaw.

But while it was not quite as convincing this time around, a much-changed Poole side progressed thanks to goals from Harry Baker, Adam Grange, Sam Jackson and Ollie Dennett to earn a 4-1 win and set up a second-round showdown with Weymouth.

Killick explained his heavily rotated side, telling the Daily Echo: “There’s always temptation to change things up for competitions such as the Dorset Senior Cup.

“Unlike the FA Cup or Trophy, it isn’t much of a money-spinner. With us out of those two competitions, our season is very much fixated on the league and trying to bring back some power to our performances.

“So, the Dorset Senior Cup is a good chance to have a look at other players, give them a chance, as well as some reserves.

“We have a healthy squad with lots of competition, so it’s nice to be able to bring other lads in and rest them.”

Goalkeeper Harry Phillips and summer signing Flavio Tavares were among those handed rare starts at Portland while Adam Grange made his first appearance of the campaign. Regular centre-back pairing of Will Spetch and captain Jamie Whisken were rested, with Marvin Brooks donning the armband.

Baker sent Dolphins on the way with an opener after five minutes, before a slight setback with the hosts grabbing an equaliser through James Cox.

Undeterred, Dolphins rallied again via a Grange volley from range after half an hour.

A second-half double composed of a Jackson goal at a corner and calm Dennett finish ensured a simple passage into the next round.

Poole have no game until November 16 but will be relieved to get back to winning ways following their disappointing FA Cup and FA Trophy setbacks against Hayes & Yeading and Hartley Wintney respectively in the past two outings.

With Poole having as many as five games in hand on some sides in the league, Killick may continue his rotational tactic in future rounds of the Dorset Senior Cup as his charges look to rise back up the Southern League South table.

“We’re already a few games behind in the league," Killick said.

“And winning in the cup doesn’t really help that. However, it’s only a few extra games.

"We’ll play it by ear – we might be lucky with the weather, for example.”

Dolphins: Phillips, Tavares, Gleditsch, Jackson, Leslie-Smith, Bedford, Grange, Holmes, Brooks, Dennett, Baker.

Subs: Pearson, Ashley, Owen, Bailey.