Shane Cornish hit a double and saw red as 10-man Paulsgrove booked their spot in L4 Teamwear Challenge Cup quarter-final by beating Stockbridge in thriller
Shane Cornish scored twice and was sent-off as Paulsgrove progressed into the L4 Teamwear Challenge Cup quarter-final.
The Grove came through their last-16 clash against Hampshire Premier League Senior Division rivals Stockbridge 4-2 victors in an all-action tie.
But the win to reach the competition’s last-eight stage was dampened with Paulsgrove defender Mike Essai suffering a cruciate injury.
Grove had to battle back from behind before eventually coming through an entertaining tie.
Boss Wayne Grant, who handed management responsibilities to assistant boss Steve Ledger in his absence, was a relieved man.
He said: ‘All the preparation was done during the week and we’ve kept up what we’ve been doing and rotated the squad again.
‘I was in constant contact (with Ledger) during the game. I had a couple of them on FaceTime and because there was no reserve game the reserve team manager was there so everyone was keeping me updated for the whole 90 minutes.’
Paulsgrove were forced to come from behind after Lascelles Richardson fired Stockbridge ahead on 28 minutes.
Aaron Fennemore levelled before the break and Cornish and Jake Daniels put the hosts in control after the restart.
Phil Maddock's strike gave Stockbridge some hope before Cornish grabbed his second - but was then dismissed late on.
Hot-shot strike pair Danny Lane and Zak Willett, along with defender Jay Eames, should all return for next weekend's quarter-final with Senior Division rivals Liphook United after being rested against Stockbridge.
Grant added: 'It doesn’t mean anything winning the trophy, it’s just game time for the lads now. Liphook will be a decent test, they always have good, young sides.
‘It’s just nice to be playing football again.
‘We didn’t play Zak, Danny or Jay so we’ll get them back involved. It’s basically four or five out and four or five in each round.’
Victory over Liphook would give Grove a mouth-watering semi-final against either Bush Hill or Moneyfields Reserves.