THE two heroes of Fawley AFC’s 1-0 Sydenhams Premier win at Alresford Town on Saturday summed up the philosophy of the Waterside club.

Harrison Fay, a 17-year-old dual-signed from Winchester City, netted the winning goal from a Zac Willis cross, while the heroics of 19-year-old 'keeper Michael Edgar – including a penalty save - earned him the Oilers’ man-of-the-match award.

With several of their more senior players lost to long-term injury – Callum Tanner, Elliot Earl, Ben Bolton and Sam Longman to name but four – Fawley are unlikely to have their strongest side available this side of Christmas.

But the flip side of the coin is that it opens the door for youngsters like Fay, Edgar and dual-signed Eastleigh teenager Charlie Daniel to make their mark at Sydenhams Premier level.

“We’re not going to attract experienced players because we don’t pay money, so generally we encourage young players. If they’re good enough, we’ll play them,” said Oilers chairman Kevin Mitchell.

"We’ve picked up some promising prospects and larger clubs like Eastleigh welcome youngsters coming to us because they know they’re going to get experience.

“We had six teenagers in our 16-man squad on Saturday and it worked because, on top of saving a penalty, Michael Edgar made four or five outstanding saves.

“Harrison Fay has popped up with the winner and another 17-year-old, Charlie Daniel, who’s normally a centre-back, made his full debut at right-back.

“We went to Alresford knowing what a good side they are. If it hadn’t been for two games being abandoned when they were leading, they’d be higher up the table than they are.

“They’ve got three former Fawley players – Steve Hall, Aaron Blaxall and Rob Flooks – and I see them as potentially a top-six or top-eight side.

“But, on the day, we got a result. They threw everything at us and we survived.”

Scott Johnston, who recently left Hythe & Dibden, has moved to Long Lane to assist Fawley co-managers Aaron Fry and Darren Sayer.

“Scott’s not here to replace anyone, but we welcome all additional help we can get,” said Mitchell.

On the debit side, Fry’s striker brother Dan has left the Oilers to join title contenders Moneyfields.

“What Moneyfields offered Dan, he couldn’t turn down,” Mitchell explained. “We accept that. It’s happened in the past and will no doubt happen again.

“But the last thing we’d do, even if we were on a better financial footing, is pay players.

"The amounts I hear people being paid at this level is staggering. I can understand it in the higher leagues with the travelling and so on, but I don’t understand it at Wessex level.”

Both teams are at home in the Southampton Senior Cup on Wednesday - Alresford against Bishops Waltham Dynamos and Fawley against Sway.