WHITCHURCH United were beaten by Zach Glasspool’s double strike in the final of the North Hants Senior Cup at Foxcotte Park last night.
In what was their fifth consecutive North Hants final, holders Alresford got off to a lively start and almost took the lead in the first minute, when Mike McEnery shook off a couple of challenges, only for United keeper Ashley West to parry his shot.
At the other end, Jason Collins did well to smother at the feet of Nic Turpin but leading scorer Warren Bentley soon made his presence felt with a slide-rule pass to former Andover FC striker Glasspool, whose finish gave West no chance inside three-and-a-half minutes.
After that the game settled down, with both sides working hard and creating half-chances until moments before the break, when Turpin ran on to a long ball and beat Collins with an excellent finish to equalise for the Jam Boys.
At the restart, Alresford were again on top and West did well to tip Bentley’s shot away for a corner, but on 50 minutes the 49-goal Magpies’ striker made another telling contribution. This time his burst into the box was halted by a late Chris Smalley tackle that sent him flying, and the referee inevitably pointed to the spot.
Glasspool took charge of the spot-kick, and duly dispatched it.
That was the end of the scoring, but not of the excitement. Alresford seemed to ease up a fraction while Whitchurch, with Isaac Sedu making some pacy runs, got the ball forward quickly and put pressure on the Magpies’ defence.
Alresford held firm, though, and endured a nervy five minutes of added time to get their hands on the trophy. Whitchurch went close to levelling again eight minutes from the end when Alresford failed to clear a corner and a Turpin header landed on top of the net.
Whitchurch return to Wessex League Premier Division action tomorrow night, hosting Moneyfields, while they are at home to AFC Portchester on Saturday and travel to Brockenhurst on Tuesday.