NATHAN Saxby’s double ensured Swanage Town & Herston succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at Dorset Premier League rivals Merley Cobham Sports.

The hosts raced into a two-goal lead after just 18 minutes at Cobham Sports & Social Club courtesy of a far-post header from Jamie Moores and a penalty converted by Matt Groves.

Swans gradually gained their composure and Jamie Johnston was denied when his header was superbly saved by the home keeper, following a great cross from George Sparrow.

Just before the interval Swans were handed a lifeline when Sparrow was brought down in the box and Cameron Barnes converted the resulting penalty.

The hosts started the half in determined mood and added their third through Saxby with a fierce shot Swanage keeper James Langdon failed to keep out at his near post.

Substitute Graeme Rose had a great chance to reduce the arrears for Swans but with three minutes remaining Saxby completed his brace and secured the points.

n Elsewhere in the division, Jack Hector’s goal sealed a 1-0 win for Corfe Castle over Sturminster Newton United.

n In rugby, Swanage & Wareham recorded a Swanage & Wareham 30-21 pre-season victory over Dorset Dockers at Bestwall.

Swans begin their Southern Counties South campaign with a trip to North Dorset on Saturday.