Vassallo proves valuable to Humbugs’ bid

Ben Vassallo celebrates his strike
Ben Vassallo celebrates his strike
Wes Fogden is brought down against Hemel Hempstead. Picture: Keith Woodland

Bradbury: There’s more to come from Hawks

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Hayling United gave their survival hopes another huge shot in the arm with a 2-1 home win over Downton.

Second-half goals from substitutes Ben Vassallo, who was making his home debut, and Ashley Fisher earned the Humbugs the deserved premier division win.

The victory was Hayling’s second successive win following their away triumph at Alton Town in midweek – moving them six points clear of rock-bottom Laverstock & Ford.

But with third-from-bottom New Milton winning 1-0 at Fawley at the weekend, retaining their four-point lead over United, manager Steve Poulton knows his troops must keep up the fight.

‘We fully deserved the points after playing well against a big, strong side,’ said Humbugs boss Steve Poulton.

‘It keeps us in touch and we must aim to win our last three games and see where that gets us.’

Horndean boss Dave Carter was left in a rage after his side suffered a 1-0 defeat at second-placed Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

The only goal of the game arrived in the 65th minute – and Carter felt it should never have been allowed.

‘We were robbed,’ said Carter.

‘Our central-defender Tom Chapman was blatantly pushed in the back as the cross came in.

‘Then, in the final minute, we were denied a clear penalty when their defender used both hands before clearing.

‘The referee was comical and infuriated both benches, who ended up just laughing at him. It meant we ended up without any points and that isn’t funny.’

In an even first half, both teams cancelled each other out in a predominantly midfield battle.

Horndean striker Chamal Fenelon went closest on 20 minutes with a good shot which the home goalkeeper pushed away.

Bemerton had the better of the opening 10 minutes of the second half, before the visitors got on top.

‘We didn’t create enough clear-cut chances,’ admitted Carter.

Moneyfields can do Hayling a big favour today by winning their midday encounter at New Milton Town.

Fareham will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways in an attractive local derby against GE Hamble at Cams Alders (3pm).

Boss Matt Parr was upset by the Reds’ poor display in the 2-0 loss to Christchurch last weekend.