BOSS Martin Patterson heaped praise on star stopper Brad Smith as Corfe Castle started 2020 with a 2-0 victory over Dorset Premier League rivals Gillingham Town.

Smith pulled off a number of fine stops during his side’s victory, which took Castle into the top 10 of the division.

Patterson said: “Brad made four or five crucial saves at 0-0, which allowed us to get a grip in the game.

“Every single player, including the lads on the bench, were brilliant and we thoroughly deserved the win.

“I think it’s the first time this season where we’ve been able to pick a near full-strength squad and it showed what we can do when everyone bar one or two are available

“It was a great start to 2020 as our reserves had a great win too.”

Corfe gradually got a foothold in the contest at the Fortress and were rewarded on 30 minutes when top scorer Courtney Johnstone finished a through ball from Jack Hector.

The second half was a tight affair with both sides having chances but Corfe’s defence held firm.

Ryan Cattano doubled Castle’s lead on 65 minutes, striking from the edge of the area to seal the points following great work from Ocean Smith.

Elsewhere, goals from Michael Collings and Jack Painter-Andrews proved not enough in Wareham Rangers’ 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth Sports.