THERE was no love lost at the Universal Stadium last night as Alresford Town continued a magnificent opening to the new season by dumping Sholing out of the FA Cup, 2-1

A tetchy extra preliminary round tie boiled over in the 65th minute when, in trying to reach an underhit pass, Sholing midfielder Alex Sawyer lunged in two-footed on Alresford’s Sam Burt.

Sawyer was shown a straight red card and Magpies’ defender Lukas McCartney also got his marching orders amid the scuffle that ensued.

Burt, who was taken to hospital by ambulance, was left with swelling on both knees and some damage to the ligaments, but manager Richard Luffman is hopeful he will be back in action within a month.

Watched by a sizeable Friday night crowd of 302, the drama started early when Lee Wort was tackled from behind nine minutes in and the referee pointed to the spot.

Alresford were adamant it had been a timely tackle by McCartney, not a foul, and felt justice was done when ’keeper Dan Kempson saved Dan Mason’s spot kick.

The Magpies edged in front on the half-hour when Steve Hall took advantage of some hesitant Boatmen’s defending and fired across Ryan Gosney into the far corner.

That lead was doubled on 49 minutes when Tom Sands cut in from the left wing and, with Gosney seemingly wrong-footed, jubilantly watched on as his shot rolled inside the post.

After the double sending-off, tempers remained on a knife-edge with Sholing’s Jamie Bulpitt then pulled away from a melee.

The edginess seemed to affect Sholing’s game more than Alresford’s and it took them until the 73rd minute to force Kempson into a save from open play when he tipped Wort’s venomous strike over the bar.

The Boatmen finally made a breakthrough in the third minute of added time when Micky Hubbard’s free-kick flicked in off Mason, but it was too little too late for the home side.

Coming hot on the heels of a 1-0 Sydenhams Premier win at AFC Portchester on Tuesday, it’s been a dream start to 2017/18 for Alresford.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better week,” smiled Luffman. “Sholing have ruled the roost round here for quite a few years and I think we got under their skin a bit.”

Alresford now host ex-boss Danny Robinson's Thatcham Town - 5-0 conquerors of Petersfield Town - on August 19.