BOBBY Scott struck a quality hat-trick as Horndean set up a Russell Cotes Cup second round trip to holders Sholing by thrashing Hampshire Premier League high-fliers Infinity 5-0.
Deans boss Michael Birmingham rang the changes in the wake of last week’s dismal FA Vase exit to Raynes Park Vale and was rewarded with a fine display.
Infinity arrived at Five Heads Park having not lost a league game this season and having taken Horndean’s Wessex Premier rivals Baffins to a penalty shoot-out in a recent Portsmouth Senior Cup tie.
But they were never really in this game once Scott had opened the scoring on 20 minutes with a low finish from just inside the penalty area.
He could have completed a first half treble, but headed straight at keeper Thomas Boyle from six yards out and then fired over at the far post after a nice passing move.
Infinity were down to 10 men when Horndean extended their lead five minutes before half-time.
Former Fareham midfielder Wayne Boud was sinbinned for dissent, and while he was off the pitch Sammy Kessack headed in Mark Smith’s cross.
The tie was effectively over five minutes after the restart when centre half Zak Sharpe finished off another fine passing move by rifling a shot from the edge of the area past a static Boyle.
A great pass from 16-year-old Ben Anderson gave Scott the chance to showcase his quality with a cool lob for Horndean’s fourth just after the hour mark.
Home keeper Lloyd Thomas was never seriously tested until he was booked for timewasting and, from the resultant indirect free kick, he dived low to keep out a Jamie White shot.
Most of the action was taking place at the end end, and Scott took his seasonal tally to 13 with a curling effort which went in off the far post to complete Horndean’s nap hand.
‘I hated football this time last week,’ said Birmingham afterwards. ‘But some home truths were told at training and tonight there was a lot more urgency, a lot more enthusiasm.
‘If Infinity had played us last week they’d have beaten us, but there wasn’t much I could grumble about tonight.’