Dukes hits last-gasp winner as Brockenhurst beat Fareham Town
Brockenhurst FC 2
Fareham Town FC 1
TEN-man Brockenhurst moved back to third in the table after an 88th-minute Ben Dukes winner secured a 2-1 victory over Fareham Town.
The much-needed win came despite a harsh straight red to keeper James Mayo and keeps Brockenhurst in the promotion play-off places with just four games left.
The Badgers started the match the stronger side, and they forced Creeksiders keeper Tom Price into a decent save low at the near post.
The bulk of the first half was a scrappy affair, with Brockenhurst creating the chances while the Creeksiders fed off scraps. So it was no surprise when the opening goal came after half an hour when full-back Dukes beat his man and played the ball in to Mitchell Speechley-Price who tucked it into the far corner.
Just before the break, Fareham's Archie Willcox left the field with a dislocated shoulder before keeper Mayo saved a decent effort from Curt Robbins.
Patrick McManus's side took control after the break, but they struggled to convert their chances before Fareham grew into the game.
With 77 minutes played, Mayo rushed out of his area before clattering into Gary Austin, who was through on goal. However, the straight red from Anthony Cross seemed harsh, with defender Addwell Chipangura appearing to have the player covered.
To add insult to injury, Casey Bartlett-Scott stroked the resulting free-kick into the back of the net.
With the visitors pushing forward for a winner, Dukes ran the length of the pitch before slotting his first Wessex League goal past a wrong-footed Price to secure all three points.
Brockenhurst: J. Mayo, C. Ings, A. Chipangura, D. Panesar-Dower, P. Wilson, A. Haynes, B. Dukes, C. Ward, M. Speechley-Price, B. Magookin, K. O'Donnell. Subs: M. Taylor, J. Stacey, G. Pomeroy, J. Nwachukwu.