Stunning free-kick amazes Fleetlands boss during Hampshire Premier League win at Stockbridge

Sean Dark scored a stunning free-kick as Fleetlands claimed an impressive victory in a game boss Rich Bessey had declared a ‘must-win’.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 11:34 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 2:28 pm
Sean Dark scored a superb free-kick at Stockbridge that stunned his manager Rich Bessey. Picture: Keith Woodland

The Gosport club followed up a 4-0 midweek win at Locks Heath with a 3-0 victory at Stockbridge.

‘We knew this was a big game,’ said Bessey. ‘We’ve applied to go up and so have they. If they’d won they’d have closed the gap on us.

‘It was a must-win game. That meant the pressure on the players went up, but they responded.’

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Highlight was Dark’s set piece that put Fleetlands 2-0 up against a Stockbridge side who had only lost 3-2 at home to leaders Infinity three days earlier.

‘Sean’s been known to sky free-kicks as high as rugby posts,’ quipped Bessey. ‘I was actually quite concerned when I saw he was about to take it instead of Tommy Woodward.

‘But he stepped up and put it straight in the top corner.

‘He came running over and jumped on me and everyone was just laughing because he’d actually scored a free-kick!

‘Sean was a striker when I joined the club but I’ve been playing him at left back, but he’s just taken it in his stride.’

Top scorer Matt Andrews, as he had done at Locks Heath, opened the scoring in the first half - his 23rd goal of the campaign and the fifth game running in which he had netted.

And Woodward, as he had done at Locks Heath, finished off the scoring in the last 10 minutes.

Fleetlands, though, had been indebted to a fine first half save from Josh Whitehead.

‘Josh has kept us in the game,’ said Bessey. ‘I signed him from Locks Heath after he played well against us earlier in the season.

‘Derek Harding had been my first choice keeper - he was ex-Horndean and Moneyfields so I was pleased to get him.

‘But Josh eventually replaced him as my first choice and I’ve since allowed Derek to join Liss Athletic.

‘Josh told me he wasn’t enjoying it at Locks Heath as they were going to play him in midfield - but he showed his value to us at Stockbridge in goal.’