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Luke Walker treble sets up League Cup win for Whitchurch
Whitchurch Utd 3 Horndean 0.
Whitchurch, newly promoted to the Wessex League Premier Division, started the season in style with a convincing League Cup victory over fellow Premier Division side Horndean. In a game made difficult by a strong breeze and a hard ground the home side shaded the opening half before dominating affairs after the break. 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 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.”
Lee Hamilton was stopped by a last ditch tackle and after Jordan Hughes was just too high with an overhead kick at the other end Isaac Sedu was denied at close range by goalkeeper Chris Clark.
Two home free-kicks on the edge of the area came to nothing and a long run by Curtis Angell was stopped by the weight of numbers before a snap shot from Walker was just too high. With most of the game in midfield chances were few and the central partnership of skipper Adrian Pearson and Pa Touray ensured debutant Dean Mahoney in the home goal was rarely troubled.
Sedu was stopped in the act of shooting and after Walker had taken advantage of a poor back pass to toe the ball past the keeper, Dan Eyres got back to hook the ball off the line. But just on half-time the home side made the breakthrough as full-back Tom Pemberton’s run and cross allowed Walker to fire high into the roof of the net from the edge of the the area. Bouyed by the goal the home side started the second half strongly with James Tennant’s free-kick nearly turned in by a defender, Hamilton firing wide and a Walker effort well held by Clark. Mahoney was forced to go down at Hughes’s feet at the other end before Whitchurch replaced Hamilton with Shane Lock and increased their lead on 65 minutes.
Another surging run from Angell took him into the box, he went down in between two or three defenders and Walker coolly slotted home the penalty. Mahoney clung on to a fierce free-kick from Ollie Warren but play was mainly in the Horndean half with Sedu inches wide, a Pearson header too high and a Walker effort turned round the post after good approach play from Angell and Lock.
Minutes later the same two players combined again and Lock’s clever feint left Walker free to beat Clark and complete his hat-trick. With less than 15 minutes left that was game over though Horndean substitute Gavin Spurway wasted their best chance, firing wide with only Mahoney to beat. Walker was twice denied by Clark who also saved well from Tennant as Whitchurch maintained their superiority to the end. Macey was thoroughly pleased with both the performance and the result. “It was a step into a new world for us and I was more than pleased with the way we coped and some of our football in the second half was top class.” Whitchurch have added Alresford Town midfielder Ashley Ledger and ex-Lion Brendon Summers to his squad in readiness for Saturday's first league game at home to Lymington Town and Tuesday week's game against Romsey Town, also at Longmeadow.