TOTTON & Eling came up with a collectors’ item as they left their relegation worries well behind them by racking up their fourth win in six Sydenhams Premier games at home to Verwood on Saturday.
Setting the seal on their 5-3 victory was 38-year-old co-boss Matt Hussey who, along with 53-three-year-old ex-Saint Dave Puckett, made a late appearance off the subs’ bench.
“Our old boys came good!” smiled Matt’s younger brother and co-boss Stuart Hussey.
“We had Matt, Dave and Ben Thompson out there and Thommo joked that they must have a combined age of 200!
“Luckily we’ve got a squad of 16 or 17 these days, but we had no Lee Thorne, Richard Morse or Tom Man (all working) and Adam Lowther and Byron Gharibian were suspended.
“Joey Herbert and Scott Gilham came in and we had Dave, Matt and Eddie Zanin on the bench.”
The Millers took the lead when Dougie Rowe released Jude Nwachukwu to outpace the Potters’ defence and score.
Verwood hit back for 1-1 at half-time, but T&E raced away with it in the second half with Rowe capitalising on Robbie Clarke’s expert through ball before tucking away a penalty awarded for handball.
Thompson curled a free-kick in the far top corner to make it 4-1 and Hussey’s goal – a close-range finish from Zanin’s cross – was sandwiched between another two from the visitors.
“I can’t remember Matt scoring when we were managing at Lymington Town, so I guess the last time he got a Wessex League goal was about ten years ago back at Lymington & New Milton,” said the younger Hussey.
“Dave might have scored too on Saturday and was disappointed to miss a volley from eight or nine yards.”
Verwood also had more chances in an open game, but were thwarted by a couple of fine saves from Millers ’keeper Kevin O’Rourke.
On target for the Potters were Nathan Saxby (2) and Jack Lovell.
Next up for T&E is a trip to the Husseys’ old charges Winchester City on Saturday.
Winchester came away with a hard-fought 1-1 draw from Fareham Town over the weekend.
Fareham took the lead against the run of play with a flicked header by Nick Tayler from Wayne Boud’s cross.
The equaliser arrived 11 minutes later when Taz Roberts made a surging run forward and squared for Daryl Phillips to finish from ten yards.
Lymington Town (James Davies) held Bemerton Heath Harlequins (Jack Slade) to a 1-1 draw at Western Way, while a goal in each half from Braiden Hamilton and Mark Barker gave Brock-enhurst the 2-1 edge over Horndean (Gavin Spurway) at Grigg Lane.