HORNDEAN completed the double over their East Hampshire rivals, but were made to dig deep at Five Heads Park on Saturday.

Trailing 3-0, Petersfield pulled two goals back in a valiant fightback before the Deans killed the game off with their fourth goal.

The Deans beat the Rams 5-1 back in October and looked on course for another crushing win after scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes.

Rock-bottom in the Sydenhams League Premier Division and heading ever closer to a second successive relegation, Petersfield almost took the lead inside a minute as Billy Connor’s shot arrowed towards the top corner and Lloyd Thomas pulled off an athletic save.

Three minutes later, the Rams were let down by their brittle defence. Tyler Moret was able to tee up a cross for Miles Everett who made no mistake from close range.

On 12 minutes, the Rams were found wanting at a set-piece. A long free-kick was knocked down by Moret and Danny Boyle shot home from a few yards out.

And with the Rams defence again in disarray, Horndean played the ball across the face of goal and Josh Maloney was there to prod home at the far post.

The visitors avoided further punishment before the interval and looked a much better side on the restart. It was Horndean’s turn to come unstuck at a set-piece in the 53rd minute. Josh Wycherley met a free-kick with a powerful header and although Lloyd Thomas managed to parry the ball against the post, it rebounded off the keeper and in off the upright, the linesman signalling that the ball had crossed the line before being cleared.

Connor missed a decent chance to pull another one back, but Petersfield did make it 3-2 in the 67th minute. The lively Connor was fouled by Benny Reed as he broke into the box and Luke Kendall sent Thomas the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Horndean’s nerves were calmed two minutes later, though, as Everett ran clear from the halfway line before feeding the ball to Josh Maloney who hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Everett clipped the crossbar as Horndean chased a fifth goal.