Horndean battle through wind-swept conditions to go second… Baffins and Portchester share bragging rights

Horndean leapfrogged hosts Portland United into second place with a wind-assisted 3-2 Wessex League premier division win.

Sunday, 27th January 2019, 11:39 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:17 pm
Ash Howes scored twice for Horndean at Portland. Picture: Vernon Nash (190119-042)

The Five Heads Park outfit battled through difficult conditions to earn three points in Dorset. 

Michael Birmingham admitted he had never seen conditions like it.

And the Deans boss was delighted his side managed to deliver a success.

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He said: ‘Their ground is like playing on Mount Everest and the wind was blowing a gale.

‘Three of the goals flew in direct from corners and we scored two of them.

‘I have never seen anything like it.

‘We showed great character to get the ball down and play but it wasn't easy under the conditions.

‘When we were able to play our football we caused Portland lots of problems.’

The visitors went ahead when Sean McMonagle produced a great finish at the end of a good move.

Playing against the wind, Horndean were pinned back and the home side equalised with a corner that blew straight into the top corner.

After half-time it was Ash Howes’ turn to curl a set-piece straight in.

Portland levelled direct from a free-kick before Howes repeated his earlier trick to win the game for the Deans two minutes before full-time.

Meanwhile, Baffins Milton Rovers and AFC Portchester fought out a 1-1 derby draw at the PMC Stadium.

The Royals grabbed a 10th-minute lead when Harry Birmingham’s corner picked out an unmarked Charlie Gunson, who headed home.

Rovers improved after the break and equalised from a 67th-minute penalty.

Portchester keeper Charlie Searle upended Jason Parrish inside the area.

Steve Parrish drove his spot-kick in off the legs of Searle and into the roof of the net.

Fidel Seibou and Parrish were both denied by the woodwork in the closing stages.

Baffins manager Steve Leigh had mixed feelings about his side’s result.

He said: ‘They did a job on us in the first half when we failed to get a grip in the game.

‘In the second period, we got going and it was different.

‘They were hanging on at the end and we could have scored at least three goals.’

Unbeaten leaders Sholing proved too powerful for Fareham Town and ran out 4-0 winners at Cams Alders.

In division one, United Services forced a 2-2 draw at Hythe & Dibden.

Petersfield Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Ringwood Town.