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Hat-trick for Luke Walker as Whitchurch open season with a win
LUKE Walker grabbed a hat-trick as Whitchurch United kicked off their season in great style with a 3-0 Wessex League Cup win over visiting Horndean.
The home side bossed the game from the start and Walker had a couple of early chances when set up by Issac Sedu and then put through by Curtis Angell.
However, the striker did open the scoring before the break with a 30-yard wonder-strike that flew into the top corner.
After the interval, Whitchurch continued to control the game and scored their second goal from the penalty spot after Angell had been brought down by a visiting defender.
Walker stepped up and scored and then completed his hat-trick after a lovely one-two between Angell and Shane Lock, who then back-heeled the ball for Walker to score.
Captain Adam Pearson nearly added a fourth at the end, but his free header at the back post went over.
Goalkeeper Dean Mahoney enjoyed a clean sheet on his debut for the side.
After the game, manager Jim Macey said: “We controlled the game, but we must not get carried away as they had a few missing.
“We played well and I could not see a weak link in the team.
“Luke’s (Walker) first goal is probably already the goal of the season. I have certainly not seen anything better at this level.”
Last night, Whitchurch opened their Wessex League Premier Division campaign with a tricky trip to Christchurch and then on Saturday they entertain Lymington (kick-off 3pm). On Tuesday night Romsey are the visitors to Longmeadow (kick-off 7.45pm).
Added to the squad for those games is former Tadley Calleva player Ashley Ledger.
Meanwhile, club chairman Gary Shaughnessy, right, has decided to step down after seven years at the helm due to increased commitments outside of the club.
Centre-half Shaugh-nessy has been involved with Whit-church for the past 17 years, the first 15 being as a player.
Having played a part in helping the club to success on the field and stability off it, he will now stand down at the AGM on Sunday, August 18.
Last season, Whitchurch achieved promotion to the Wessex League Premier Division and also enjoyed another great FA Cup run.
Shaughnessy said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chairman but I feel it’s the right time to hand over the reins after seven years.
“I’d like to thank the committee members, managers, coaches, players and all the volunteers for all their hard work and support over the years.
He added: “It has been great to be part of Whitchurch United – helping to provide junior football at all ages through to a good standard of senior football.”
Whitchurch manager Jim Macey paid tribute to the outgoing chairman and said: “He is the main reason I came to the club, but I understand why he is standing down.
“He has achieved so much for the club and three years ago when we sat down together I don’t think either of us thought we would get promotion; it just shows how far we have come as a club.
“It has been a pleasure to work with him and I class him as a friend.”
The club committee would like thank Gary for his commitment and all he has done for the club and have announced that Brian Jackman will be standing for the post of chairman at the AGM.
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