SWINDON Supermarine opened up their Southern League Premier South campaign with a thumping 3-0 victory away at Hartley Wintney on Saturday.
Lee Spalding’s men moved up to second after the first round of fixtures thanks to goals from debutant James Harding, Tom Sharpe, and Conor McDonagh.
Marine had gone through their entire 2021-22 league campaign without being awarded a penalty, but it took them just 20 minutes of the 2022-23 season to change that.
Harry Williams stole possession from Wintney’s Matt Drage, and shortly after doing so the home defender clumsily brought Marine’s striker down inside the area.
Harding confidently placed his penalty into the bottom corner to set both his and his team’s season’s off on the right foot.
Matters became worse for Wintney shortly before half-time after Anis Nuur was sent off for a shocking tackle on Ryan Campbell, consequently forcing the winger off.
Marine rubbed salt into the would of their hosts prior to the half when Sharpe volleyed in from close range following a corner to make it 2-0.
Spalding’s men dominated the second half as well, and after Zack Kotwica had struck the post, McDonagh added a third with five minutes to play.
Williams beat the offside trap before laying off for McDonagh to hammer into the net and claim his 60th career goal for Marine.
Elsewhere, Highworth Town were in FA Cup extra-preliminary-qualifying round action against Reading City but suffered a disappointing exit to lower-ranked opposition.
The Worthians lost 2-0 to the Combined Counties League Premier Division North side and also ended the game with 10 men after Will Davidson was sent off for his part in a melee.
City also had a men sent off but made it through, where they will face the winner of Royal Wootton Bassett Town v Windsor.
Sam Collier’s side were leading 1-0 at the Sustain Stadium courtesy of Bailey Gallagher’s intervention before an 89th minute equaliser from Windsor forced a replay this coming Tuesday night.