Michael Birmingham oversees comprehensive Horndean victory at Shaftesbury on his return to the dugout

Michael Birmingham praised the professionalism of his Horndean side after their 4-0 Wessex League Premier win at Shaftesbury.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 4:02 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 6:55 pm
Horndean boss Michael Birmingham. Picture: Vernon Nash (190119-059)

The Deans boss was back in charge after a bout of flu and hailed the way his players coped on a difficult pitch.

‘The way we controlled the game was excellent,' said Birmingham.

'We should have been out of sight by half-time but had to settle for a 1-0 lead.

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‘In the second half, we went out and stamped our authority on the game

‘My team dealt with the conditions well and Shaftesbury didn't have an answer to us.

‘We looked very professional and did the job we went there to do.

‘In the end, it was a comprehensive win.’

Mark Smith gave Horndean their first half lead near the half-hour mark.

Greg Peel delivered an excellent ball from the left and Smith scored from a few yards out.

Peel was involved again in the second goal, this time crossing to the back post for Alfie Lis to convert.

Horndean sealed the victory with further goals from Smith and substitute Connor Duffin.

The victory lifted the Deans up to fourth in the league.

‘We are starting to pick up a bit of momentum,’ beamed Birmingham.

‘That all boils down to getting players back from injury and close to full match sharpness.

‘With players returning, it gives me the problem of who to include and who to leave out of my squad.

‘That is a far better position than earlier in the season when I had 15 players on the treatment table.’