'Tremendous' season efforts are acknowledged as Horndean finish Wessex League Premier campaign with a flourish

Michael Birmingham thanked his Horndean players and backroom staff for their ‘tremendous’ efforts over the course of the Wessex League Premier season.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 17th April 2022, 4:46 pm
Zak Willett bagged the opener in Horndean's final-day victory over Alresford Picture: Martyn White
Zak Willett bagged the opener in Horndean's final-day victory over Alresford Picture: Martyn White

The Deans signed off their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory on the road at Alresford.

That ensured Horndean managed to end the season in fourth position, with talisman Connor Duffin finishing as the division's leading scorer after firing in a whopping 40 goals in his 37 league appearances.

Fellow front man Zak Willett, who bagged the opener in the Deans' final-day victory, was the Wessex League's second-highest goal-getter with 35 strikes in 39 outings having joined the club from Hampshire Premier League side Paulsgrove last summer.

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But after a season he viewed as a great success, Birmingham made a point of praising all his staff and players for the hard-work put in over the course of the first fully completed campaign in three seasons.

‘It's been a tremendous season by the lads and everyone behind the scenes and I can't speak highly enough of the efforts everyone has put in for me, they've been absolutely tremendous,’ said Birmingham.

‘My backroom staff, my players - I can't speak highly enough of them - they've been absolutely superb.’

Free-scoring Willett fired Horndean on the way to victory, breaking the deadlock after just four minutes.

Birmingham introduced both Polish player Karol Skoczen and Atry Kerton from the bench for Connor Duffin and Leon Baker with 20 minutes of normal time remaining.

The double change would prove a masterstroke with both Skoczen and Kerton netting in the closing stages to round off the 3-0 triumph.

Birmingham added: ‘He (Karol) was superb when he came on. I'm really, really made up for him. Arty scored a good goal, making a great third man run.

‘Again, he's another player who's been patient, come in and done extremely well when he came onto the pitch. It's always good when you make two subs and they both have an influence on the game.’