DAVE CARTER’s Horndean recorded a stunning 3-1 success at Fawley in the Wessex League premier division last night.
The determined Deans travelled to the Waterside Ground looking to put distance between themselves and the teams struggling at the foot of the table.
Manager Carter made changes to his side after their derby loss to Moneyfields on Saturday.
Grant Blackmore replaced regular keeper Simon Howard in goal and Nick Tayler stepped in for skipper Tom Chapman.
Striker Torr Spicer was unavailable to lead the line due to work commitments.
Hosts Fawley were at full strength and looking to build confidence ahead of their FA Vase tie at Reigate-based South Park on Saturday.
But it was the Deans who showed their intent early on.
They nearly took the lead when Dan Martin’s cross shot was turned against his own post and behind by Fawley defender Neil Croudson.
On 30 minutes, Horndean again threatened.
Martin forced another corner and Bryn McKie arrowed in a low cross, which so nearly crept in at the far post.
Carter’s battlers made the breakthrough soon after.
An inspired pass from Gary Luff was finished off emphatically by Nathan Paxton, with a vicious strike.
Impressive Horndean doubled their lead almost immediately.
Tayler rose high above his marker, at the far post, to meet a McKie corner and head home.
On the stroke of half-time, the visitors went further ahead.
McKie sent Martin clear to beat keeper Page, at his near post, to make it 3-0.
After the break, the hard-working Dan Hayes went close to netting a fourth for Horndean, thundering a shot just wide.
Carter’s men continued to dominate and Martin danced clear before rounding Page, only to fire wide of an empty net.
With Horndean failing to add to their lead the momentum swung.
Fawley upped their game and began to put their visitors under pressure.
They pulled a goal back on 75 minutes.
The Horndean defence failed to deal with a corner and Kieran Earle applied the finishing touch, from close range.
Suddenly it was backs to the wall stuff from Horndean.
Fawley sensed they could salvage something with their second half rally.
But Horndean had ideas and were in no mood to let all their good work come to nothing.
And they closed out the 3-1 victory to the delight of manager Carter.
He said: ‘It was a wonderful team performance.
‘The result shows what we are all about and that we are capable of matching any team at Wessex League level.’
Fawley: Page; Croudson, C. Earle, Ross, Lane, K. Earle, Brooks, A. Wiltshire, Mockridge, Murphy, Grandison. Subs: Longman, Wheeler, Blaxhall, S Wiltshire, Keating.
Horndean: Blackmore; Perkins, Luff, Warren, Shepherd, Tayler, Fennemore, Hayes, Paxton, Martin, McKie. Subs: Bell, Plomer, Farrugia, Worsfold, Austin.
Referee: Derek Pratt (Stockbridge).