Hat-trick hero Connor Duffin surpasses strike partner Zak Willett in Horndean leading scorer stakes as Portland are hit for six

Connor Duffin's hat-trick moved him ahead of strike partner Zak Willett as Horndean's leading scorer as they thumped Portland 6-0 at Five Heads Park.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 14th November 2021, 3:23 pm
Connor Duffin hit a hat-trick in Horndean's win over Portland. Picture: Barry Zee
Connor Duffin hit a hat-trick in Horndean's win over Portland. Picture: Barry Zee

Duffin's treble, who has already struck 22 times this term, has moved him one strike ahead of Willett, who has notched 21 times this campaign.

As well as Duffin's hat-trick, defender Chad Field, Liam Kimber and Tommy Tierney were all on the scoresheet as the Wessex League Premier Division table-toppers took their scoring tally for the season to an incredible 91 goals in just 24 matches across all competitions.

But, most importantly for boss Michael Birmingham, he took great pride in the way the Deans responded to defeat at Hamble last weekend - just their second loss in 17 games this season.

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‘Obviously the lads knew, we were very disappointed - not just with the result last week (against Hamble) - because you can play well and get beat - it was the manner in how we got beat last week,’ revealed Birmingham.

‘It was important we got a good reaction, the boys were fantastic at training on Tuesday and Thursday, I think the result (against Hamble) did hurt them.

‘We got what we wanted, we knew Portland were going to be a very, very young enthusiastic side with pace on the counter.

‘We were on the front foot, we scored after seven minutes, it was 3-0 at half time but it could have been five or six. With a little bit more composure we could have seen the game dead and buried a lot sooner.

‘I’m not grumbling, I’m very, very happy, clean sheet, another six goals and another three points so I’m happy with that.’

Horndean came racing out of the traps and opened up a three-goal advantage inside the opening 35 minutes.

Liam Kimber put Horndean on the way to victory with his ninth-minute opener with Chad Field heading home 16 minutes later before Duffin grabbed his first of the afternoon on 35 minutes.

Duffin then made it four on 63 minutes then Tierney got himself on the scoresheet six minutes later.

There was still time for Duffin to strike in time added on to wrap up his treble and propel free-scoring Horndean to a 13th league victory of the season.