SHOLING FA Cup heroics have cost them top spot in the Sydenhams Premier.

AFC Portchester are the new leaders after Olly Searle’s late header settled a tight contest 1-0 at Bournemouth Poppies.

“We have played more games and the challenge for us is staying here,” said Royals co-boss Mick Catlin, whose team have racked up three wins on the bounce.

Sholing, the only unbeaten side in the division, sit just two points behind Portchester with three games in hand.

Fareham came out on top in the battle of two form sides at Bashley.

The Creeksiders’ 2-1 win made it nine games unbeaten in league and cup against a Bash team who had scored 18 goals and conceded none in their previous four matches.

Scott Hamilton struck twice to put Town in the driving seat.

With striker Dan Munday hobbling off, Bash introduced new boy Nathan Clements on a season-long work experience deal from AFC Bournemouth.

It didn’t take long for the young Cherry to show his potential as he threw off a defender with a drop of the shoulder and, after a smart swivel-turn, shot home in some style.

Fast-starting Brockenhurst took just 24 minutes to wrap up their 3-0 home win over Andover New Street.

Nathan Gray struck in the 13th and 18th minutes before Matt Sheedy polished off.

It finished all square, 3-3, between Alresford Town and Hamworthy United.

The Magpies handed a debut to veteran ex-QPR striker Rowan Vine who joined new teammates Aaron Blaxall and Liam Hibberd on the scoresheet. Sam Bayston (2) and River Smith scored for the Hammers.

Horndean’s Harry Jackson (2) and Mark Smith condemned Bemerton to a 3-0 defeat, while Christchurch came a cropper 3-1 at Baffins Milton Rovers (Jason Parrish 2, Callum Dart).

Hamble Club twice battled back from behind at home to Portland United before falling to a 3-2 defeat.

Charlie Kendall and Doug Rowe dragged the Monks on terms after Darren Watts had twice nosed the visitors ahead, but Jamie Beasley popped up with Portland’s late winner.

Team Solent drew 1-1 at Tadley Calleva, while Steve Smith (2) and Adam Flint ensured Shaftesbury beat Cowes Sports 3-1.