DEFENDING champions Holt United sealed a 5-3 triumph in an eight-goal thriller at home against 10-man Swanage Town & Herston.

The visitors went ahead through Cameron Beard’s early strike before Holt equalised through a Mike Haskell effort on the half-hour mark.

Swans edged in front once more before the interval, courtesy of Aaron Atkinson’s goal on the stroke of half-time.

Atkinson scored again on the hour mark to increase the visitors’ lead but Haskell headed Holt’s second five minutes later to reduce the deficit.

The turning point in the contest then came on 70 minutes when Dan Beeston, Swanage’s goalkeeper, was adjudged to have handled outside his area and was sent off.

Luke Homer stepped up and scored from the resulting free-kick to make it 3-3 a minute later.

With the man advantage, the Bulls went ahead for the first time when Nathan Saxby fired home.

And the hosts eventually made the game safe five minutes from time when Holt’s Elliot Manson got his name on the scoresheet to wrap up the game.

With five victories from their opening eight games, Holt are eighth in the league table at present.

However, they do have at least one game in hand on every side above them.

Hamworthy Recreation were not at their best at Magna Road but still beat struggling Sherborne Town reserves 4-1. Harry Turner netted a shock opener for the visitors but a quick response from Ash Boyt and further goals from Josh Pratt, Chris Long and Harry Stokes gave Rec three points.

Wareham Rangers threw away a three-goal lead as Shaftesbury reserves responded to win 4-3 at Purbeck Sports Centre.

Rangers looked comfortable after two goals from Aaron Merredew and a Will Bartley strike saw them well ahead at the break.

But four goals from Aaron Lane-Leney saw the Rockies stage a remarkable second-half comeback.

A goal from Blandford’s Archie McCarthy proved consolation as his side were hammered 6-1 at home against Mere Town.

The hosts also had Dan Holland and Rob Way sent off.

Parley Sports netted four times on the road against struggling Milborne Port with Mike La Ronde, Josh Moody, Adam Trimbys and Matt Newberry all on target in a 4-2 triumph.

Josh Pickering’s neat volley meant Merley Cobham Sports sealed a narrow 1-0 victory at Gillingham Town.