STOCKBRIDGE secured a massive three points away to Whitehill & Bordon thanks to Sam Payne’s brilliant individual effort, on an afternoon where both sides played over an hour with ten men in a tetchy affair at the BOSC. 

With the majority of games called off in the Hampshire Premier League it was the perfect opportunity for the Robins to make up ground on the top two, who both had no fixture due to waterlogged pitches.

In the early period of the game Stockbridge threatened down both flanks with Josh Graham and Matt Cliffe both sending in dangerous deliveries that evaded everyone. Down the other end the hosts came close when the HPFL’s leading scorer Ryan Davis sent an effort just wide from inside the box. 

The first big talking point came in the 18th minute when Chris Pye was sent through on goal, only for the Whitehill number five to take him and the ball with a crunching tackle that gave the referee no choice but to brandish a red card as the last man.

Stockbridge very nearly took the lead from the resulting free kick when Sam Payne’s curled effort was spilt by Choularton in the Whitehill goal, but Luke Neal’s follow up effort cannoned against the upright and behind for a goal kick.

For ten minutes it was one way traffic but that swiftly changed when Robins' winger Josh Graham was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence for simulation, much to the dismay of the Stockbridge bench. 

Stockbridge had the ball in the back of the net two minutes later when Payne acrobatically flicked home Luke Neal’s cross, but the assistant referee’s flag went up. Whitehill then thought they had taken the lead when Stockbridge defender Aston Mussell looked to have been tripped by the heels of Davis, leaving the loose ball to be sent into the box and tapped home, however, the flag went up again in another tight call.

With the pitch cutting up considerably due to the wet conditions, it became difficult for both sides to play football in the opening stages of the second period with neither team controlling proceedings. 

The deadlock was broken just before the hour mark when Stockbridge number ten Sam Payne picked the ball up on the left-hand side 25 yards from goal, the youngster arrowing home an unstoppable strike low into the far corner for his eighth goal of the season. 

Stockbridge then had a chance to make it two when good work from Henry Bragginton found Neal at the back post with just the keeper to beat, however his side footed effort went agonisingly over the bar when it looked easier to score. 

The hosts very nearly made Stockbridge pay for their wastefulness when substitute Juett was played through one-on-one, only to be denied well by the legs of Wilson on 78 minutes. 

The Robins' number one was called into action again in the 83rd minute when he kept out a volley from point-blank range with his knee and then managing to smother the loose ball before it could be turned in. 

Chris Pye very nearly got on the scoresheet in the closing stages when Wilson’s long ball put him in on goal, only to be denied by a superb last-ditch tackle. It was of no consequence however, as the Robins held out against some very direct football in injury time to record a priceless away victory.