JOSH Howell went from zero to hero as Binfield scored twice in the last 10 minutes to snatch a 3-2 win over Reading City at Rivermoor Stadium on Monday, writes Dave Wright.

With his side trailing 2-1, he wasted a golden opportunity to equalise when his poorly-struck penalty was easily saved by keeper Matt Carr.

But it was Howell’s lucky night as he was given a chance to make amends late in the game, and this time he blasted his spot-kick high into the net to give the Moles all three points.

Three months ago, they had crashed 5-2 at home to City, but in recent weeks their opponents have lost virtually a whole team with joint-managers Andy Findlay and Robbie Creech also stepping aside, and this return fixture saw four new signings making their debuts with new boss Simon Johnson in charge for the first time. On a pitch that had only just passed an inspection following torrential rain earlier in the day, the Moles soon came under pressure with Kamran Khan going very close to giving City the lead.

Binfield had a great chance to go ahead themselves when Jemel Johnson raced clear, only to be denied by keeper Carr, but they did score on 13 minutes through Danny Horscroft.

However, their lead lasted only six minutes with Rhys York’s shot taking a deflection on its way over keeper Chris Grace and Binfield were still reeling from that shock when a minute later Ben Cook blasted the hosts into the lead.

After those two efforts, Grace never looked in danger of being beaten again.

Binfield finished the half strongly with a succession of corners and Gary Smith was just inches away from equalising. And they resumed the second half on the offensive and within four minutes earned a penalty for a foul on Howell, but his spot-kick along the ground was easily smothered by Carr.

The Moles went on to dominate the game and they became an even bigger threat up front following the introduction of substitute Eddie Lee.

Their pressure eventually paid off on 80 minutes when Johnson headed home the equaliser and four minutes Binfield grabbed the winner. Lee was brought down by Carr wide in the penalty area and this time Howell made no mistake from 12 yards.

Binfield’s seventh league win from 14 games lifts them to 12th in the table on 23 points, with games in hand on every side above them.

They now face three games in seven days, visiting Tuffley Rovers this Saturday (3pm) before hosting Wantage next Monday (7.45pm) followed by Ardley United the following Friday.

Their Bluefin Sports Cup tie at Brimscombe & Thrupp, postponed last Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch, has been re-arranged for December 29.