AT the age of 53, Totton & Eling’s Dave Puckett became the Sydenhams Wessex League’s oldest scorer by volleying home his “most important goal” in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Downton, writes Samuel Price.

With minutes to go and the Millers 2-0 up, Puckett was introduced as a calm head to help his team see out the match. But the experienced forward went one better when he provided the final touch to Dougie Rowe’s whipped-in cross with a controlled volley from just inside the area.

He smiled: “It’s the best goal I’ve scored because it’s the latest one I’ve got.

“It gives you a high until the next game comes around and that becomes the most important one. But, at the moment, it’s the most important goal I’ve ever scored.”

Puckett, pictured right, a former Saint, now coaches the Sydenhams Premier side, making the occasional cameo along the way.

“I’ve come on six or seven times this season and I’ve desperately wanted to score a goal,” he admitted. “I’ve had quite a few chances and come close. I’ve hit the post and seen a few saved. But I felt very confident today that I would come on and equally confident that if I did, I would get a chance.

“Dougie has put a great cross in and I’m delighted to have got another goal. I’ll have to knock on the manager’s door if I’m not selected on Tuesday!”

Puckett’s goal was the icing on the cake for Totton & Eling, who secured a vital win in a battle of two of the division’s bottom four who were separated by only one point before kick-off. Rowe opened the scoring with the faintest of flicks from Ben Thompson’s well-taken free-kick, before Adam Lowther converted a second-half penalty to put the match beyond Downton.

The Millers host Brockenhurst tonight and co-boss Stuart Hussey said: “Saturday’s was an important win for us. With six more points, we shouldn’t be far away (from safety), and we can hopefully breathe more easily.”