SUBSTITUTES Josh Howell and Josh Helmore were Binfield's FA Cup heroes at Hill Farm Lane on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

They were sent on with their side trailing 2-1 to United Services Portsmouth with a little over 20 minutes of their extra preliminary round tie remaining.

Howell fired in an 81st-minute equaliser and new signing Helmore grabbed the winner five minutes from time.

"It shows the benefits of having a strong bench," commented Roger Herridge.

But the Moles manager admitted his side made hard work of things.

He explained: "They (Portsmouth) had watched us play the previous Monday and learned a lot from how we play the diamond shape and knew if they got down the sides they could cause us some problems, which they did.

"They were a disciplined and well-drilled side.

"But we didn't play particularly well ourselves and I was disappointed with the two goals we conceded.

"However, we got there in the end, so all credit to our lads for sticking with it. They showed a lot of heart and desire to get themselves back into the game and keep the club in the FA Cup."

Moles fell behind in the 35th minute when Jack Chandler hammered a low free-kick through a crowded goalmouth low past keeper David Lyons.

Eddie Lee equalised with the last kick of the first half, finding the net from the edge of the area out on the Binfield right, but the Wessex League visitors regained the lead on 65 minutes through Tom Jeffes, his powerful shot just eluding the hands of the diving Lyons.

Moles were struggling to make much headway against a well-organised defence, and it needed changes upfront.

On came Howell and Helmore at the expense of Lee and Danny Horscroft and the subs took up wide berths with Asa Povey in the middle.

Howell soon went close with an effort which keeper Tom Price managed to tip around the post, but he made no mistake in the 81st minute, finishing off a move involving Povey and Joel Valentin.

Midfielder Valentin had an effort scrambled off the line before former Thatcham striker Helmore grabbed the winner in the 85th minute, beating Price from close range at the second attempt.

Binfield will be home to another Wessex League side, Lymington Town, in the preliminary round on August 24.

They are also three out of three in the Hellenic League following their 2-0 win over Virginia Water at Hill Farm Lane on Monday.

But Moles were extremely lucky not to have conceded their first goals of the season with the visitors squandering several good opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, even missing one when left with an empty net after a misunderstanding between new keeper Sam Szymczyk and Carl Davies on the edge of the penalty area.

Szymczyk, whose previous clubs include Burnham and Flackwell Heath, answered a late call from the club when Lyons pulled out due to his wife about to deliver a baby at any moment.

He somehow managed to keep a clean sheet before Moles worked their way into the game.

And Povey missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring before they went ahead in the 40th minute. A long high ball out of defence from Jack Thompson-Wheeler put Povey in the clear. He got the better of keeper Matt Jones, who was injured the process and squared the ball across goal for Helmore to finish off.

Sheer persistence by Valentin, who regained possession twice after losing it, led to Povey making it 2-0 in the 57th minute. Povey could have scored again when substitute Sean Moore won a penalty, but his low effort was pushed away by Jones.

Binfield play their third home game in seven days when they host Division Two South side Chalfont Wasps in the Bluefin Sports Hellenic League on Friday (7.45pm).

Herridge will again make changes to his team, as he has done for the last three games.

"We are rotating the squad nicely," said the manager, who left long-time skipper James Knight on the bench on Monday.

"It is a squad in transition, as we have brought in a lot of new players and it's different players getting used to different little partnerships and combinations."

He added: "We have made a good start in terms of results with three (league) wins without conceding a goal.

"But in terms of performances, there are things we need to work on and be better at, and we will improve, there is no doubt about that."