Michael Birmingham lauded Horndean’s performance as they dispatched Baffins Milton Rovers 5-1 and moved above their title rivals in Wessex League premier division.
Doubles from Miles Everett and Harry Jackson and a strike from Jack Maloney completed an emphatic win for the Deans at the Kendall Stadium.
Horndean boss Birmingham was extremely proud of his side’s performance and is starting to see the hard work on the training ground bearing fruit.
He said: ‘My lads were phenomenal and I am very proud.
‘We knew beforehand to get three points against a very good Baffins side that we had to play well.
‘It is a testament to the way lads are buying into what we’re trying to achieve.
‘They passed the ball and moved the ball quickly and at a high tempo.
‘We started well and that put us on the front foot.
‘Our men all worked hard and put a good shift in – that’s what we’re all about.’
Horndean made a dream start catching the home side cold with two goals in the opening four minutes.
Maloney delivered a low free-kick to the near post where the unmarked Miles Everett easily tucked the ball home to open the scoring.
Two minutes later, Baffins were punished after they switched off at a short corner.
The ball was played deep and when it was headed back across goal, Harry Jackson hooked it high into the net to double the visitors’ advantage.
The quick-moving Horndean were posing the pre-match league leaders all sorts of problems made it 3-0 on the 15-minute mark.
Everett outpaced Baffins’ defence down the right and delivered a pinpoint cross for Jackson to head in at the back post.
The one-touch football and movement off the ball from the visitors was impressive to watch.
Baffins looked for a way back into the game soon after the restart with Blu Boam flashing a shot past the far post.
At the other end, Jackson prodded over the bar after getting behind the defence from a free-kick.
Mark Smith should have increased the visitors’ lead only to fire wide from a good position inside the area.
Horndean had three shots in quick succession blocked inside the area as they remained in charge.
Birmingham’s troops added a fourth in the 68th minute when Maloney’s cross that looked for Jackson sneaked inside the far post.
Moret grabbed a consolation for Baffins from inside the box, but Everett completed the Deans’ goal glut with a brilliant solo effort five minutes from time.
n Petersfield were thrashed 7-0 by Alresford Town in Wessex League premier division.