Alresford Town 3 Whitchurch United 0.
An inspired 70th minute substitution from home managers Tim Cole and Andy Robinson settled Tuesday’s Wessex League encounter with Whitchurch at Arlebury Park.
Playing at the venue for the second time in a week after last Tuesday’s 89th minute League Cup semi-final defeat by Petersfield, United were the equal of the league leadres in the first half despite going into the match without several key players including Pa Touray, Tom Pemberton and Adam Pearson.
Andy Mott had an early chance for the home side then after Isaac Sedu was fouled Nic Turpin’s free-kick was blocked and Luke Walker’s long run ended with a tame shot at Jason Collins.
The Jam Boys enjoyed a good spell with Walker finding Alex Pickering whose cross went behind Turpin but Louis Macey’s shot lacked power and was cleared.
United keeper Alex Thompson kept his side in the game before the break with fine saves from Suhael Odeh and the prolific Warren Bentley before Collins threw the ball straight to Turpin on the edge of the area but he could not capitalise and the chance went.
After the break Alresford moved up a gear as they chased their 100th league goal of the season and former Andover striker Zach Glasspool was inches wide before Odeh was replaced by Mike McEnery and the whole complex of the game changed.
Bentley missed two chances he would normally put away until with eight minutes left the pressure told as Joe Wright’s cross was too much for the hard working United defence and McEnery tucked away the loose ball.
Two minutes later the points were safe as the same man slammed home a Bentley cross and he completed a remarkable eight minute treble close to time with another simple chance.
Whitchurch battled well and defended superbly under increasing pressure with new boy Matt Scott looking strong but boss Jim Macey has some hard work to do to rally his troops for the final run in, which probably includes two cup finals, or what has been a fine first season in the top flight could dwindle away in the coming weeks.
l On Saturday United drew 2-2 with Hamworthy United at Longmeadow and were indebted to a last second scrambled toe poke from Alex Pickering to rescue a point.
Luke Walker and Nic Turpin both hit the woodwork in the first half before the vistors scored through Billy Walker on the hour. Jordan Cole was sent off for a professional foul on Isaac Sedu and Walker scored from the penalty spot only for the ten men to take the lead with a penalty of their own from Dominic Allen before Pickering’s point saver.
Last night United were due to play Otterbourne in the Andover League Open Cup semi-final for the chance to play Andover Town in the final.
On Saturday they travel to Fareham for a Wessex League game before entertaining Moneyfields on Tuesday.