Hythe & Dibden manager Lee Burch was forced to take matters into his own hands during their 1-0 win against Andover New Street in their Sydenhams Division One opener.
With eight players unavailable for the clash at Blackfield & Langley’s Gang Warily home – their temporary ground while work is completed at Clayfields – it looked like Watersiders were heading for a draw.
But with 10 minutes to go it was the gaffer to the rescue. Burch (pictured right) brought himself on for centre midfielder Alex Liburd and, amazingly, scored the all-important goal himself to secure the narrow win.
“It’s always good to get three points,” said Burch. “It wasn’t perfect but I made a late call to put myself in the team.
“We changed the system slightly and I came on to stretch the play.
“The lads hate it when I score, there were some cheers at first but they realised it was me there was some groaning,” Burch laughed.
“I don’t think they like that I’m top scorer,” he added with a smile.
Skipper Simon Davison, Dan Pancaldi, Nathan Renyard and Nick Jenkin were all unavailable, Wayne O’Dell and Simon De’Ath are injured, Mark Lilley served one game of a two-match suspension and Jon Brock was at a wedding.