Horndean boss lauds maturity after top win
Horndean claimed another top scalp by beating Wessex League premier division leaders Andover Town 3-2 at Five Heads Park.
The home side’s cause was helped when the table-toppers were reduced to 10 men after only 10 minutes.
But Michael Birmingham was pleased with the patience and discipline showed by his Deans.
‘We have only dropped two points in our last four games all against top sides,’ said the boss.
‘The performance – just two days after playing on the sand pit at Portchester – was remarkable.
‘They gave Andover little time on the ball and the work-rate was phenomenal. We are starting to mature as a side.’
Despite losing a player to a straight red card, it was Andover who took a 13th-minute lead.
Ash Howes hauled the Deans level before the break.
In the second half, Benny Read and Liam Kimber stretched the lead before Andover grabbed a second goal on 75 minutes.
An early Rob Evans goal was enough to see AFC Portchester beat Bashley 1-0.
The win was marred when Dan Wooden was sent off after two quick-fire bookings for dissent.
‘It wasn’t the greatest of games but we managed to grind out a win,’ said Royals joint-manager Mick Catlin.
‘We had a lot of tired legs at the end of a tough week.
‘It was important to get back to winning ways after our gutting defeat by Horndean.’
Fareham Town slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Shaftesbury at Cams Alders after paying the price for ill-discipline.
Curt Robbins put the home side ahead in the second half but then Gary Austin and George Davis were sent off.
‘We threw it away,’ said angry Reds boss Pete Stiles.
‘Until the sending-offs we were pretty much in control.’
Baffins Milton Rovers forced a 1-1 draw at Team Solent courtesy of a Jason Parrish goal.
Petersfield Town lost 3-1 at Amesbury Town.
United Services stayed in the division one promotion race with a 3-0 win against Downton at Burnaby Road.
Lewis Beale grabbed a brace with Alex Andrews also getting on the scoresheet.