SWANAGE Town & Herston overcame a 10-week lay-off to finally beat Cranborne at the fourth attempt this season.

Alan Lay’s troops had not played in the Dorset Premier League since December 14 due to a host of postponements, but defeated their hosts 2-0 on their return to action on Saturday.

Swans took the lead inside the first 10 minutes at Penny’s Lane when Jack Watson nodded in Rowan Robinson’s corner.

That was how it stayed until midway through the second half, when substitute Tony Parrott made an unexpected attacking contribution.

Brought on to sit in a midfield anchor role, Parrott surged into the box and pulled back for Paul Best to smash into the net from 12 yards.

Boss Lay was delighted to emerge with all three points, which enabled his side to rise to 10th in the standings.

He said: “We’ve played Cranborne three times this season and they have knocked us out of both cups and beaten us at home, so we were looking forward to this one.

“We hadn’t played for 10 weeks and we told the boys beforehand that they would have to dig deep. They were fantastic and we deserved the result.”

Lay singled out Parrott and midfield talisman Perry Mullins for special praise, revealing that both players had been critical in the end result.

He added: “Tony is normally a centre-back and we brought him on in defensive midfield to give us a bit more energy and the first thing he did was burst into the box.

“I didn’t even want that from him but it was exactly what we needed at that point in time and that goal killed the game off.

“I asked him what he was doing on his way back and he told me he was making assists.

“Perry Mullins in midfield also had a fantastic game. He was up and down all game, won his headers and hardly gave the ball away, so I was really pleased with him.”

  • Second-placed Hamworthy Recreation, meanwhile, won their top-of-the-table clash with leaders Weymouth reserves 1-0 thanks to a Tom Willis strike in the 40th minute.

Portland United remained in touch with the top two following their 2-1 home win against Holt United.

Ben Sullivan had given the Bulls a 35th-minute lead before Adam Linaker and Lewis Clarke (penalty) secured the points for the hosts.

Joe Wood was Merley Cobham Sports’ four-goal hero in their 7-1 demolition of bottom-club Poole Borough.

Aaron Atkinson, Stuart Cannie and Jamie Moores were the other Merley marksmen, while Ashley Hancock replied for the Hornets.

Elliott Slade scored Wareham Rangers’ consolation goal in a 3-1 home loss to Bridport reserves.

Robert Manson and Saul Boulton scored for Blandford in their 2-1 home win over Parley Sports, who replied through Tobias Holmes.

Hamworthy United reserves dropped into the bottom three following a 4-1 defeat against fellow strugglers Sherborne Town Reserves. Billy Prescott was on target for the Hammers.