PAUL Best delivered both on and off the pitch during an eventful afternoon in which the Swanage captain aided the birth of a baby lamb minutes before kick-off.
The 23-year-old, who works on his parents’ farm on Church Knowle, was all set for Swans’ home match with Blandford United when he received the call on Saturday.
Faced with a race against time to make the match, Best completed his agricultural duties before a dramatic dash to make kick-off at Day’s Park.
And one successful arrival was followed by another as the influential midfielder turned up in the nick of time and played a part in both goals as Swans secured a 2-2 draw in the Dorset Premier League clash.
William Johnson handed the visitors a fifth-minute lead before Best played through Sam Beale with George Harvey netting the equaliser on the rebound.
Best then converted a 35th-minute penalty when Beale was sent sprawling by Royals keeper Dan Hinton but the hosts were pegged back by Robert Manson’s leveller with 15 minutes to play.
On his afternoon's exertions, Best told the Daily Echo: “Once lambing season starts you know you are on call 24/7 and it just happens now and again where you have to drop everything.
“I had all my football stuff on and was ready to roll when it happened so it was a quick change to go and whip out the new born. Thankfully, it wasn’t too difficult and didn’t take long.
“This was the first time it happened before a football match so I was lucky, it was just a case of pushing the head back in and pulling the legs out. It was all over pretty quickly so I just about made the game.
“I literally had about 10 minutes to warm up when I got there so I just chucked on my kit and did the best I could. I didn’t feel like I did too badly and it didn’t affect me too much, it was more the rushing around.
“I didn’t have too much time to think about it, I just went out there and got on with it.”
At least this story had a happy ending for Best, who revealed his last encounter with sheep had a bigger impact on his game.
He added: “At the tail end of last season, I missed a couple of weeks after a ram took me down. It just ran at me and by the time I realised it was too late to get out of the way.
“I would say it was one of the hardest tackles I have ever faced – I definitely didn’t win the 50-50, let’s put it that way – but it taught me to be a little bit quicker!”
Swans: Broome, Robinson, Harding, Watson, Richards, Parrett, King (Woods, 70), Best, Reavenall-Nuete, Beale (Cooper, 80), Harvey (Dunn, 60).
Royals: Hinton, Oliver, Boulton, Dedics-Taylor, Holland, Manson, Ju Hall, Pike (Snow, 60), Sibanda, Hyde, Johnson.
- Merley Cobham Sports stayed in second place a point behind leaders Weymouth reserves, with a game in hand, following their 1-0 win over Hamworthy Recreation.
Substitute Graham Rose scored with his first touch of the game in the 90th minute.
Ben Sullivan converted two penalties for Holt in their 3-1 home win over Parley Sports, who had taken the lead through Tobias Holmes. Steve Llewellyn equalised for Holt in the 58th minute.
Duane Hobbs scored Wareham Rangers’ equaliser in the 1-1 draw with visitors Sherborne reserves.
The game between Cranborne and Hamworthy United Reserves was postponed because the Hammers were unable to raise a side.