Hayling United dropped to joint bottom of the Wessex League premier division after a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Laverstock & Ford last night.
Before kick-off, Steve Poulton’s men knew victory over the division’s basement side would go some way to easing their relegation fears.
However, the Humbugs were unable to hold on to the lead twice on the night and were made to pay as Laverstock stole victory.
The victory sees them join Hayling on 22 points. And if they win their game on hand, Poulton’s side will drop to rock bottom, with games running out.
The match attracted the attention of Gosport Borough, with director of football Mick Marsh and club scout Mark Poulton keeping tabs on Hayling striker Alex Easton.
Easton was quick to impress with a fine run out wide before crossing into the area, where home defender Bill Maybury managed to get in ahead of the Humbugs’ Jack Salter-Vaile and clear the danger.
As Hayling stepped up the pressure, a neat move opened up the hosts’ rearguard and Aaron Kinchen was in to power a shot just over.
On 20 minutes, and having soaked up everything Hayling had thrown at them, Laverstock wasted two good chances, before play switched to the other end, where Kinchen forced the ball over the line, only to have his effort ruled out for offside.
Moments later, though, Salter-Vaile and Kinchen created an opening for Sean Thurgood, who took the ball in his stride to blast Hayling into an interval lead.
Gradually, Laverstock clawed their way back into the match, and it took them just five minutes of the second half to equalise – Louis Elder darting in to power a header past Patilla from six yards out.
Now it was very much game on, and after Josh Case went close for Hayling, Salter-Vaile met a free-kick from Lee Tigwell to put Hayling back into the driving seat.
Sadly, the lead lasted just 60 seconds as the home side responded when Eddie Perrett let fly from long range, and the ball sailed past Patilla.
And to rub salt into the Hayling wounds. Laverstock finished the job off on 80 minutes when Elliott Ward took aim from the edge of the area to fire home the winner.
n Moneyfields took their unbeaten run to 13 matches in the Wessex premier division with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth Poppies.
However, for the second match in a row, the Copnor club would have been disappointed to take only a point against mid-table opposition.
Jack Slater handed Moneyfields a first-half lead. But, just like in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Alresford, Miles Rutherford’s men were pegged back and had to settle for a share of the spoils.