A second-half hat-trick from Matt Hope saw Elmer take the points with a 3-2 victory over a strong Southbourne outfit in division two of the Chichester and West Sussex Sunday League.
After a goalless first half the game sprang into life when the hosts took the lead on 50 minutes following a muddy goalmouth scramble.
This prompted Elmer’s assistant manager Gary Norgett (pictured right), standing in for the absent Colin Davis, away with family commitments, to make a number of brave formation changes.
With Hope pushed up alongside the hard-working Bailey, Norgett’s boldness was immediately rewarded as Elmer equalised through Hope after tremendous work from Jon Morley.
With their tails up, Elmer struck again with Hope’s second when he was put through by his brother Tyler.
It looked like Elmer had made the points safe when Matt Hope scored his and Elmer’s third which was celebrated in tremendous style with the ‘Peach Passout’.
The hosts though made it a nerve-jangling last five minutes when they scored their second. Elmer dug in and showed great resolve to stretch their unbeaten league run to six games and move up to third place – and set up a table-topping thriller this week with Aldingbourne FC.
Dolphin Rangers 1 Elmer Res 5
In a match dominated by Elmer reserves, Dolphin Rangers took the lead in the first ten minutes when a fumble by Alix Brennan led to a simple finish.
This stung Elmer into life and after plenty of attacks they finally got on level terms when David Stevens casually stroked the ball home after a good team move.
Then came the ‘Joey A’ show with Joe Ansell securing an eight-minute hat-trick.
The first came when hapless keeper Craig Mitchell parried a free-kick by Alex Berry into his path. The second followed another Mitchell parry from John Wilson’s shot and his third was smashed in when the ball dropped to him from an Elmer corner.
The second half saw Elmer close the game out, though there was still time for Stevens to grab his second from a Dexter Cons throw.
Elmer brought on Matt Taylor and James Ross for the impressive pair of John Wilson and Steve Hyde. Dolphin had a few chances late on but a pair of smart saves from Brennan kept them out.
Chichester & West Sussex Sunday League games kick off at 11.02am this week to allow for two minutes’ silence for Remembrance Sunday.