FAIRFORD put on a stirring second-half display to thump struggling Purton 6-1 in Division One West, in a game that saw both sides finish with 10 men.
Purton, a club in mourning following the death of former assistant boss Sean Clark in midweek, took the lead early on when keeper Ben Mitchell’s clearance rebounded into the net off Steve Campbell.
Home skipper Henry Trass levelled matters before the break before adding a second soon after the resumption, to put Fairford in front for the first time.
A Purton player was then sent off for a stamp on Trass and Nathan Gambling was dismissed for raising his hands as matters got heated in the aftermath.
After that it was all about the hosts, Callum Parsons driving into the net from a tight angle before Cameron McLarty added a fourth.
Dan Bailey rounded off the scoring with a couple of goals of his own, an excellent individual effort and a close-range finish.
Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite hailed the impact of Trass afterwards and said his captain had changed the game.
“The first 30 minutes we couldn’t get ourselves going,” he said.
“When they scored that shook us up and we looked a bit nervous for a bit, but Henry Trass turned the game round.
“He could see things weren’t going right and he upped his effort and the lads around him did the same. He scored two great goals and that gave us the edge.
“The players took everything on board at half-time and put it into practice with five good goals in the second half.
“Like Purton we had some players missing but we just seem to have the squad rotation right at the moment where whoever comes in will do a job.
“There’s a lot of effort and commitment from the lads and it’s working.”
Fairford plan to take the unusual step in non-league football of appealing against Gambling’s dismissal, as Braithwaite explains.
“All Nathan did was go in to try and break up the situation. The ref really did get it wrong,” said Braithwaite.
“He’s pushed him in the chest to break up an argument. We will appeal as the assessor has his own report of the game.”
Elsewhere in the division, goals from Nathan Blackford and Josh Skeates could not prevent a 5-2 defeat at Carterton for lowly New College.
Lambourn were hammered 5-0 by visiting Clanfield with Bradley Bryant (2), Craig Mays, Ollie Oswin and Daniel Bishop on the scoresheet.
Malmesbury’s first game in nearly a month saw them lose 3-2 at home to Maidenhead Reserves in the second round of the Supplementary Cup.