Parish celebrates Royals debut with last-gasp FA Vase winner
Debut-making Jason Parish became an instant hero for AFC Portchester, scoring a last-gasp winner in their 1-0 FA Vase first round win at Cullompton Rangers.
With extra-time looming Parish, signed from Baffins Milton Rovers, headed in a Nathan Paxton cross two minutes into stoppage-time.
His goal decided a hard-fought cup tie fought out on a heavy pitch in east Devon.
Royals manager Mick Catlin felt his side showed a lot of character to keep going to the very end.
'Jason did exactly what we brought him in to do and that is score goals,' said Catlin.
'He still isn't a hundred per cent fit and we are nursing him through games.
'It was a real proper cup tie and either team could have won it.
'We rode our luck at times but got our reward at the end.
'It was the ideal time to score because they didn't have any time to recover.'
The win was even more creditable because the Royals went into the tie with a patched-up side.
Dan Wooden, Mike Turvey and Josh Warren were all missing through injury.
In the first half the visitors created a host of chances but failed to put them away.
They had a let off when the home side hit the woodwork.
Both teams had chances in the second period as they continued to attack each other.
Paxton was guilty of two or three poor misses but redeemed himself in the final seconds.
He delivered a great cross to the back post where Parish pulled away from his defender to score with a downward header.
'The lads are full of confidence and don't fear anyone at the moment,' said Catlin.
'It would be nice to get a home tie in the next round.'
Michael Birmingham was fuming after Horndean's tie at Raynes Park Vale was abandoned 20 minutes from the end with the game goalless.
He pulled no punches in lambasting the referee's decision.
'The pitch wasn't great but it wasn't dangerous and both teams wanted to finish the game,' said Birmingham.
'None of the players were slipping up or committing horrendous tackles because of the conditions.
'The referee was wearing astroturf trainers so it is no wonder he was struggling.
'There was a continuous light drizzle coming down but the decision was ridiculous.
'Now we have to travel all the way back up there on Tuesday night.
'Both of us wanted to replay the game next Saturday but the FA won't let us.
'Our hosts were fantastic and very apologetic about the whole thing.'
Petersfield Town's tie at fellow Wessex Leaguers Bournemouth Poppies was postponed.