Horndean stand firm with 10-men to hang on for victory in five-goal Alton thriller

Spirited Horndean saw out the best part of 40 minutes with 10-men to cling on for a crucial 3-2 Wessex League Premier Division triumph at Alton.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:04 pm
Jack Lee scored and was sent off in Horndean's tense victory at Alton. Picture: Vernon Nash (190119-057)

Table-toppers Horndean looked to be home and dry, opening up a 3-0 lead inside 41 minutes with Zack Willett, leading scorer Connor Duffin and centre-back Jack Lee all netting.

But the in-form hosts were buoyed when Matt Benham fired home a penalty a minute before the break.

Scott Sanderson then made it 3-2 just five minutes after the restart with goalscorer Lee then turning villain, receiving a straight red card on 54 minutes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Somehow the Deans had gone from a position of comfort to now facing a long final 35 minutes or so.

But they stood firm, with captain Ash Howes dropping in at centre-back following Lee's dismissal to claim a 14th win in 18 Wessex Premier matches this season.

Assistant manager Jason Mann, taking charge with boss Michael Birmingham currently in isolation after contracting Covid, said: ‘We got it over the line - they're a good side. We were fully aware in their last games they'd scored right at the end so they keep going right to the end. Our goalkeeper has pulled us two great saves at the end to get us the three points.

‘We went down to 10-men - there were no complaints with Jack Lee's sending off - and it was backs to the walls then. The character of the 10-men pulled us through.

‘At the end of the day, we got the three points, at the end of the season no-one will remember the sending off or the 3-2 (scoreline) we'll just remember the three points away from home.’