Inspired substitution helps Fareham claim Wessex League win at Bournemouth Poppies
An inspired substitution helped Fareham Town to a 2-0 win at Bournemouth Poppies.
With the Reds struggling to score, manager Pete Stiles sent on top scorer Josh Benfield.
The striker was introduced on the hour mark and with his first touch he converted a Luke Slade cross to break the deadlock - his 12th league and cup goal in only 13 appearances..
Within a few minutes the visitors extended their lead with a second goal.
The home goalkeeper spilled a Slade shot and Benfield set up midfielder Lewis Stockford who placed his shot just inside the post.
'We did what we had to do on a horrible, bumpy pitch and got the job done,' said Stiles.
'Having not played for a few weeks, it was always going to be tricky.
'But we made sure that we were physically and mentally up for it.
'Our second goal knocked the stuffing out of them.'
The win was marred by a first half injury to Curt Robbins after a nasty clash of heads left him concussed.
Robbins had a CT scan and was kept in hospital overnight.
Stiles expects the player to be out for at least a month.
Horndean boss Michael Birmingham was delighted with his side’s 3-1 home win over Portland at Five Heads Park.
'We looked to have our work ethic back,' he declared.
'It took us a little while to get going on a very heavy pitch.
'Also we gambled a little by tweaking our shape and we needed time to adjust.'
A defensive mistake allowed Horndean to lead 1-0 at the interval.
Midway through the half Alfie Lis nicked the ball off Ryan McKechnie and dinked his shot over the goalkeeper.
'In the second half we pressed Portland higher up the pitch,' said Birmingham.
'We had a better shape when out of possession.
'Our second goal was only a matter of time.'
Lis again was the catalyst, beating three defenders before playing a wonderful through ball to Bobby Scott.
Scott rounded the goalkeeper but was denied by a full length diving save from defender Ed Bastick.
The Portland player was sent off and Scott converted the penalty - his 17th goal of the season in all competitions.
Though the Dorset visitors pulled a goal back with a penalty of their own, Greg Peel - on as a sub - sealed the win with a tap-in.