WHITCHURCH United are up to fourth in the Wessex League Division One table after thumping strugglers Amesbury 9-0 at Longmeadow on Saturday.

The game started excellently for Whitchurch, who took the lead after just two minutes, when Adam Everiss asked to take a free-kick quickly and caught the visitors napping, finding the empty net as Amesbury set up their defensive wall.

Things got worse for the visiting side when their centre-back was sent off for a stamp just two minutes later, meaning they had to play most of the match with 10 men.

Whitchurch took full advantage to improve their goal-difference. It was 4-0 at the break and the hosts added a further five goals in the second-half.

Sam Argent and Luke Walker both hit hat-tricks, while Ashley Childs and Paul Coventry came off the bench to score, Coventry claiming the goal of the game with an unstoppable shot from 25 yards.

Manager Jim Macey said: “We were due that because we have been playing well.”

However, the result came at a cost to Whitchurch, who lost influential centre-back Ali Brown to a calf injury that looks set to keep him out for several weeks.

Fellow defender Adam Pearson is also a doubt for this week’s trip to table-topping Cowes Sports after twisting his ankle, while Everiss could also be missing after signing for Blue Square Bet South outfit Hayes and Yeading United. However, it is hoped that he will be allowed to continue playing for Whitchurch on dual registration.

Macey said: “It will be very tough on Saturday and losing Ali Brown will make it even harder because we had been looking good at the back.

“We are playing well and will go to Cowes with confidence. They are top of the league but are there to be shot at.”