Midweek Wessex League: Brockenhurst vs Cowes, Bashley vs Alresford, Christchurch vs Shaftesbury, Hythe & Dibden vs Bournemouth Poppies
IT was a mixed bag for the four local sides in midweek Wessex Premier action, with Brockenhurst and Bashley winning but Christchurch and Hythe & Dibden suffering defeats.
Brockenhurst's brilliant four-goal victory over Cowes Sports brought them to within a point of the top of the table, while Bashley made it six league wins in a row.
At the other end of the table, Christchurch suffered a three-goal loss to Shaftesbury, coached by former manager Ollie Cherrett, with Hythe & Dibden losing a vital relegation six-pointer against Bournemouth Poppies.
Patrick McManus's Brockenhurst side stretched their unbeaten run to eight games to move close to the top of the table with a comfortable 4-0 win over Cowes.
Brockenhurst started attacking from the first whistle, and it took only five minutes for Kieran O'Donnell to break the deadlock after a quality switch of play from Ronan Moore.
The lead was doubled less than a minute later when Christie Ward played in top-scorer Silvano Obeng, who nonchalantly nutmegged the onrushing keeper.
Mitch Speechley-Price had a superb effort cleared off the line with 10 minutes played, but the next goal did not come until O'Donnell shot through the defender's legs after 50 minutes.
O'Donnell spurned the chance to score a hat-trick with a shocking penalty before 16-year-old Toby Colmer came off the bench for his Wessex Premier debut.
With five minutes left, Obeng burst through one-on-one before outwitting the keeper to score his second.
Brockenhurst now switch their attention to their FA Vase fifth round match away against Littlehampton FC on Saturday.
Bashley overcame a disappointing goalless first-half against Alresford to race into a three-goal second-half lead, with goals from Jamie Webber, Harry Bunce and former Cherry Matt Tubbs.
Bunce had the ball in the net within minutes of the restart, but the linesman raised his flag for offside. However, rather than let his head drop, Bunce cut a low cross back to the onrushing Webber, who converted unerringly at the near post.
Bunce then delivered the game's best goal after popping up with the ball on the opposite flank before flashing across the face of the goal and into the far corner.
Four minutes later, Tubbs made it 3-0 with his first Bashley goal after nodding in Webber's cross. Despite a consolation penalty for Alresford, Bashley deserved their sixth consecutive victory.
It was a tough night for Christchurch, who suffered a three-goal destruction at the hands of Shaftesbury, ensuring Ollie Cherrett's return to Hurn Bridge was a happy one.
The defeat sees Christchurch's league survival take a turn for the worse, with Bournemouth Poppies winning to cut their buffer to just three points.
Christchurch's Eder Batista had a brilliant free-kick turned against the bar after three minutes, but Shaftesbury took the lead when captain Gary Bowles headed in after 32 minutes.
Christchurch had further chances, but goals from Aiden Shepherd and Sam Davidson made it three defeats in a row after a brilliant spell of form lifted them clear of the relegation zone.
Hythe & Dibden missed a chance to make a massive statement after suffering a 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals Bournemouth Poppies.
The defeat leaves second-from-bottom Hythe with a mountain to climb, with nine points separating them and Poppies.
Hythe will feel hard-done-by, especially after seeing Cain Patience's header hit the post and rebounded to safety before having a penalty appeal waved away moments later.
The hosts took the lead after the hour mark through Kyle Graham before Shane Barney sealed all three points after 75 minutes.