DOWNTON hosted Laverstock and Ford in a thrilling contest on Tuesday evening, as the home side came out 2-0 winners, in a game that could’ve swung either way.

The Robins were led by captain Craig Tyson and Declan McGregor rolling back the years to lead the line, in front of a crowd of 112.

Flavio Tavares made his home debut for the Robins, and looked a class above, turning the visitors inside and out. He was unlucky not to assist the first goal of the match, with Shaun Prentice unable to finish off a decent move.

Laverstock weren’t without their own weapons though - ex-Downton boy Tom Mundy, clearly keen to make an impression on his return, roamed to the left wing and pumped in a few good balls with keeper Nathan Ball, in just his second match for Downton, making sure that it was scoreless at half time.

The pace of the match continued after the break, with both sides having opportunities to take the lead; though most of the game flowed through the middle, Sam Howe for Downton once again impressing when he got the chance to move the ball down the wings.

It was Shaun Prentice who opened the scoring, beating his man on the right hand side and looping the ball in for a spectacular goal.

From there, the action further intensified, culminating in Laverstock’s Tylor Brockway earning the visitors a dubious penalty from a corner-kick. Up stepped Adam Bourner for Lavvy whose penalty kicked sailed over the bar.

Soon after, the hosts found themselves down to ten men with Ali Ward dismissed for a second bookable offence.

The visitors began pressing ever more, but the Downton defence was resolute. As the clock ticked into injury time, Prentice again used his pace to get behind the Laverstock defence, bundling the ball through to sub Tom Aldridge who calmly stuck the ball in the back of the net for his second goal of the season.

An absorbing game - Laverstock had their chances, but Downton showed their strength.

Downton co-manager Ben Smith spoke following the game and said: “Tonight was a big performance from us, when we play like that we would damage any side.

“A local derby against an in form Laverstock was not going to be easy, but the lads really showed me how good they are and that’s something we need to take with us into every game.

“If I could find the recipe to get every player to perform like that we would be up there in no time.”