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Whitchurch win at Bemerton
JIM Macey’s Whitchurch United side continued their good run with a superb victory at previously unbeaten Bemerton Heath Harlequins on Saturday.
Three second half goals sealed the win which took the Jam Boys up to eighth place in the Wessex League Premier Division.
Isaac Sedu, Tom Pickering and Pa Touray were the goalscorers against the side Whitchurch knocked out of the FA Cup two years ago and after away wins at Downton and Winchester City in the league and Hythe and Dibden in the Hampshire Senior Cup things are looking promising.
It all looked different at half-time with the home side a goal up after only four minutes when poor marking let in Jack Slade and Macey admitted his side were lucky to still be in the game.
“We were moaning and arguing with each other which is not like us so I said to them at the break ‘just go out there and enjoy playing on this superb pitch and believe in yourself’.
Macey switched things around for the second half as Ali Brown was struggling with a rib injury, with Tom Pemberton in at left back and Curtis Angell in the middle ahead of Scott Hassell who was sweeping in a bid to curtail the strong running of the home attack.
Penetrating runs from Dan Metcalfe caused problems, but a defiant Whitchurch backline shut them out denying Bemerton a second goal.
George Way was finding room in the middle of the park with the Whitchurch midfield being forced to defend deep but driving runs from Sedu was causing chaos in the Bemerton defence, and it was not long before Seb Dawes was cautioned for a late tackle on him which would not be the last yellow card for tackles on Sedu in this game.
Touray then put Luke Walker through but his shot went over and from the long goal kick Danny Young forced Tom Hindmarsh down low to make a save.
Bemerton started the second half with Young and Slade linking up and finding space in front of the goal and from a corner on the hour Dawes found Young unmarked at the back of the box and his well-placed header made it 2-0.
Whitchurch had now raised the pace of their game and the pressure was testing the Bemerton back line which was starting to struggle.
United pushed forward and Alex Pickering overlapped Luke Walker to collect on the edge of the 18 yard box and his shot gave Chris Brewer no chance.
The momentum was with Whitchurch, with time ticking away Whitchurch found themselves defending another Bemerton corner and as Jack Eves swung the ball it cleared by Adam Pearson to Way who sent it back into the danger area and again it was cleared, but this time the ball fell to Touray who turned and saw Brewer off his line which was enough for one of his trademark 50 yard shots for the winner.
Macey was unsurprisingly elated with the outcome: “We were always in the game albeit with a little luck as they are a difficult side and very strong up front.
“Pa and Isaac are on fire at the moment and caused Vinnie Rusher no end of problems and we showed a never say die attitude which is encouraging. ‘I am chuffed to bits as they gave it their best and I can’t ask for more.”
Tonight the side have another trip, to Horndean who were hammered 5-0 at home in the FA Cup by Graham Rix’s AFC Portchester on Saturday, before they entertain current leaders Sholing who are bound to bring a sizable and noisy contingent to Longmeadow.
Macey may lose Brown and Hassell to injury but Chris Smalley should be back in the squad which could well be without Alex Dockree who is contemplating a transfer.