Fleetlands manager Kevin Wrapson said Tuesday night’s victory over a dogged Paulsgrove side was one of the best displays of the season.
Fleetlands beat their hosts 3-1 in their Hampshire Premier League encounter at Marsden Road and their manager was delighted with the performance and the result.
‘That is easily our best performance of the season so far,’ said Wrapson.
‘I think this is the first time I have ever won at Paulsgrove because it is a really difficult place to come and get a result.’
However, Paulsgrove manager Wayne Johnson praised his side’s battling qualities despite the loss.
Johnson took over the reins at short notice a fortnight ago after manager Darren Robson resigned, blaming a lack of commitment and effort from the players.
That wasn’t evident in the second half of the local derby, as Paulsgrove fought tooth and nail to get back into the game.
In the end they came up short after failing to take their chances, but Johnson was encouraged.
The defeat brought to an end a three-game winning streak since the change of manager.
‘When I took over I shut the changing room door and told the players exactly what I expected,’ said Johnson.
‘I am chairman of the club and have given up my golf.
‘The players know that I will give it everything and I will expect the same from them.
‘It won’t be easy for them because I expect them to train and work hard at getting their fitness up.’
Fleetlands showed a lot more composure in the opening 45 minutes and deservedly led through two well-taken goals.
The impressive Craig Haddlesey was the instigator of both goals.
On 19 minutes he burst forward from midfield, and with the home defence retreating, picked out Jamie Wrapson with a perfect through ball.
Wrapson, Fleetland’s hat-trick hero at the weekend, finished well with a shot into the far corner.
Three minutes later Haddlesey delivered a pin-point corner to the near post where Charlie Wakefield headed past home keeper Aaron Cobb.
Johnson’s half-time team talk delivered under the trees at the bottom end of the pitch had its desired effect.
The home side shot out of the blocks and got themselves back into the game on the hour mark.
Liam Horsted cut in from the left and curled an excellent shot into the far corner of the net.
Suddenly it was game on for the hosts and Fleetlands found themselves under sustained pressure.
Just when it looked as though Paulsgrove would get something from the game, however, a catalogue of defensive errors gifted the visitors a third goal.
Firstly the home defenders stopped, waiting for an offside flag that didn’t come.
Then goalkeeper Cobb raced out of his area only to get stranded.
That left Wrapson to fire the ball into an unguarded net and seal victory for Fleetlands.
‘Their third goal killed us off,’ said Johnson.
‘Our goalkeeper and defence have been magnificent in the last three games but they had a nightmare last night.’
Paulsgrove: Cobb, Barton, Warlow, Bichard, Farley, Parry, Crawford, Kerridge, Hatton, Horsted, Burkinshaw. Subs: Donald, Hawker, Ledger, Griffin, Little
Fleetlands: Edgar, Thomas, Jones, Wakefield, Hall, Haddlesey, Martin, Candy, Wrapson, Steel, Alford. Subs: Irvine, Adams, Bull
Referee: J Wright