TWO stoppage-time strikes helped Warminster Town record an unlikely 2-1 win over Portishead Town at Weymouth Street on Saturday.

Hurt by Alex Churchyard’s earlier sending off, Warminster had work to do in the second half of their latest Toolstation Division One clash after a deflected shot helped Portishead establish a one-goal lead with half-an-hour played.

The game entered its 90th minute, and 10 minutes of stoppage time were signalled by officials. In the first of those minutes, Warminster were awarded a soft penalty, which Ian Jeffrey clinically converted.

Such was the nature of the penalty call, Portishead chief Alan Tyers was shown red by the referee – and this spurred Andy Crabtree’s home side on amid their search for an unlikely winner.

And that winning goal remarkably came when a cross from the right was headed in by a visiting defender.

The three points lifted Warminster into the division’s top half, and manager Crabtree was thrilled by his squad’s late efforts.

He said: “We looked a bit off the pace in the first half. To be honest, we could’ve been three goals down at half-time.

“I don’t know if that was because of the pitch – Portishead struggled in the second half as we did in the first.

“Conditions made things difficult. We created a few chances in the second half – it was a proverbial game of two halves.

“We kept knocking on the door and had several opportunities where we could and should’ve scored, but we snatched a win from the jaws of defeat.

“It’s good, it proves we’ve got character. We’ve had defeats in games we should’ve won, so it was nice to turn the tables.

“Had we won games we should have, we’d be in contention at the top.”

The club finds itself in a good place at the moment.

An FA Vase fourth-round trip to Bitton awaits Warminster on January 11, and last weekend’s home attendance of 133 was the highest in in the division.

Although it’s tempting to be lured into the magic of the cup, Crabtree insists focusing on the ‘bread and butter’ league must remain his players’ priority.

“The club is buzzing at the moment,” said Crabtree.

“We get judged on the league. Come April, people would’ve forgotten about the Vase.

“The Vase is more of a day out that we can enjoy where everyone can be involved – it will be a good day for the club.

“The most important thing for me is to keep doing well in the league. Fair play to the players, they’ve bought into that and continue to perform well.”

Devizes Town were the only other Wiltshire team in action in Division One at the weekend.

They slipped to a crushing 4-1 loss at Sherborne Town to remain 17th in the table.