AFC Portchester striker Parish continues goal rush as nine-man Horndean crash to Wessex League home defeat
Horndean had two players sent off as AFC Portchester striker Jason Parish took his tally to five goals in four days.
Fresh from a hat-trick against former club Baffins Milton at the weekend, Parish struck twice as the Royals won 3-0 in a feisty encounter at Five Heads Park.
All the goals came in the second half as Mick Catlin’s men remained eight points behind new Wessex League Premier Division leaders AFC Stoneham with a game in hand.
Horndean were handicapped by having skipper Ash Howes dismissed just before the half-hour mark.
He was shown a straight red by referee Tom Coppin for a reckless challenge on Parish near the halfway line.
Portchester were three goals to the good by the time Deans left-back Fuzz Kanjanda was also dismissed 20 minutes from time for a second bookable offence.
The first 45 minutes was a scrappy, stop-start affair littered with free-kicks and players from both teams continually complaining to Coppin.
No-one can say the referee didn’t try to clamp down, though – he booked Portchester’s Adam Cripps for a heavy challenge on Kanjanda within the first 10 minutes
Catlin was forced to make an early change as left-back Ollie Searle was forced off after taking the full force of a shot in the face - Jack Barker coming on in his place.
The only real save either keeper had to make was when Royals’ Brad Snelling dived to turn a Ben Anderson free-kick around the post for a corner.
Parish broke the deadlock on 51 minutes with a great strike from just inside the penalty area that arrowed into the top corner.
It was the first goal Deans keeper Lloyd Thomas had conceded in four matches.
Playing down the slope, the Royals doubled their lead seven minutes later when Parish headed in a Ramsey corner at the near post.
The visitors’ third successive league win was sealed on 67 minutes when Horndean failed to deal with a Joe Noakes cross and captain Steve Ramsey lashed an unstoppable shot past Thomas.
Kanjanda then became the third Deans player dismissed in the two league games against Portchester this season.
Ex-Pompey midfielder Jack Maloney had been red-carded in the Royals’ 2-1 home win before Christmas.
Deans boss Michael Birmingham admitted afterwards that Howes’ challenge was ‘very, very rash and there was no need for it on the halfway line.’
But he was also critical of Coppin’s overall performance, saying: ‘We’re not going to win promotion this season because we’re not good enough.
‘If that referee is promoted then that is a disgrace - he’s not good enough to be promoted.
‘There’s lots of things to help a referee these days - the Respect campaign, which I agree with, and sin bins, which I don’t agree with.
‘But sometimes you have to say the refs aren’t good enough. The standard of refereeing is this league is a complete joke.
‘Having said that, fair play to Portchester - they are a powerful side and they deserved to win.
‘But I’m not being funny, at times their players seemed more interested in trying to make the referee’s decisions for him.’
Birmingham added: ‘It was hard playing with 10 men for most of the game, and playing with nine was more than impossible. But I was proud of my players tonight for the way they kept going,’
A virtual Horndean under-18 side will travel to Sholing on Thursday night for a much-delayed Russell Cotes Cup tie.