Michael Birmingham got the response he wanted from Horndean as they stormed to a 4-2 win at Brockenhurst in the Wessex League premier division.
Harry Jackson and Miles Everett grabbed doubles to return the Deans to winning ways after two successive league defeats.
‘It was a cracking win and just what we needed,’ said boss Birmingham.
‘Three of the goals we scored are contenders for goal of the season.
‘It was a heavy pitch and we had to change our style but the players did extremely well.
‘If we are to get back to imposing our authority this is just the sort of result we want.’
Fareham Town ended a six-game losing run with a 2-2 draw at Shaftesbury.
Manager Pete Stiles was encouraged with the character of his side.
He said: ‘We had a lot of players missing and a number of square pegs in round holes.
‘On top of that we lost skipper Josh Holmes to injury and George Davis had to come off at half-time suffering with tonsillitis.
‘Despite this, I was disappointed we didn’t win.
‘We had several chances and then let in a silly goal at the end.’
The Reds fell behind against the run of play in the 20th minute.
Sammy Kessack popped up with an equaliser and then put his side ahead early in the second half.
AFC Portchester cruised to a 4-0 home win against Bashley.
‘We did enough but didn’t play as well as we can,’ said Royals boss Ian Saunders.
‘Slowly but surely we are picking up momentum.
‘I am happy to be in the chasing pack at the moment.’
Two goals in the opening 10 minutes set the Royals on their way.
Dale Mason sidefooted in a left-wing cross and Andy Todd, on his first start this season, headed in a corner.
Bobby Scott extended the lead before Mason finished the job.
Joel Jackson (two), Blu Boam and Lewis Stockford helped Baffins Milton Rovers to a 4-0 win at Newport.
Petersfield Town lost 9-0 at Hamworthy United.