RUDY Plummer served up a man-of-the-match performance as Blackfield & Langley exacted sweet revenge on Exmouth Town in the FA Vase on Saturday.

With last season’s 5-0 hammering at the King George V Ground still fresh in their memories, the Foresters made the long haul back to east Devon determined to make amends.

They suffered a temporary setback, falling behind to a 30th-minute Dave Rowe goal after the gloriously named Ace High had headed on a free-kick.

But Blackfield's Franklyn Clarke hit back from the penalty spot following a foul on the industrious Plummer who went on to seal victory with two second-half goals.

The old joke about having more clubs than Jack Nicklaus is particularly true of the livewire Plummer, who includes Brockenhurst, Winchester City, Whitchurch and Fareham among his numerous ports of call.

But it was a sign of his growing maturity that he was Blackfield’s standout performer in a truly hard-fought win.

“It was raining, the pitch was tacky and it was a very physical game,” said B&L co-assistant boss Chris Farrell.

“Players were launching themselves into tackles, but we had a strong referee who wasn’t intimidated by anyone.

“Our back four of Lewis Tallack, Joe Byrne, Sam Poole and Ryan Oatley defended really well and Rudy and our wide players worked their socks off all afternoon. Lewis Tallack went off injured after about 60 minutes and Adam Costello slotted in well at right-back.

“We all know Rudy’s got pace, but his work when the opposition had the ball was outstanding. He didn’t give their centre-halves a moment’s rest.

"Our third goal was really good. Franklyn had possession by the corner flag and beat two defenders before standing the ball up to the back stick where Rudy couldn't miss.

“He deserved to be man-of-the-match. You can’t do much more than score twice and win a penalty away from home.

“Connor Hoare came in for Jordan Ngalo in the middle of the park and he was also exceptional.”

With Ngalo (knee), Kane Daysh (broken leg), Harrison Fay (knee ligaments) and Callum Cunliffe-Pilley (knee ligaments) all on the injury list, Blackfield are casting their net for new signings.

The first is likely to be Bournemouth Poppies’ Sami Makhloufi who, all being well, could go straight into the squad for tomorrow's (Tuesday) Sydenhams Premier visit to Newport IW.

With Andover Town out of action due to Horndean’s delayed FA Vase tie, second-placed Blackfield will be looking to trim the gap on the league leaders to eight points.

Not so long ago Blackfield had a clear lead at the top and Farrell believes the title race is still wide open.

"Lots of people point the finger and say that when the weather changes Blackfield disappear - but we didn't disappear on Saturday," he said. "It's far from over.

"But playing a resurgent Newport away from home on a Tuesday night is never easy," he warned.