Fareham Town 1 Whitchurch United 0.

Whitchurch journeyed to Fareham with a squad decimated by injury and suspension and welcomed back Nick Jupp, a member of last season’s promotion winning squad and soon found themselves under pressure in the spring sunshine.

Curtis Angell was forced to clear a John Wilson shot off the line and after Josh Cripps had seen an effort deflected wide Adam Pearson blocked another effort from Wilson.

Luke Walker, working hard in midfield, found Isaac Sedu in space but the shot was straight at keeper Luke Douglas.

Keiran Lewis was too high for the home side and Alex Thompson beat away a fierce Wayne Boud drive before saving well again from the resulting corner. Pearson collected a yellow card as Whitchurch defended strongly and Thompson saved well from Gary Austin before former Andover Lion Matt Jones volleyed over from close range to leave the game scoreless at half-time.

The visitors started the second half the better and Douglas, forced to leave his area, conceded a free-kick and collected a yellow card for bringing down Nic Turpin, but then redeemed himself by somehow keeping out Walker’s fierce free-kick.

Jones again deserted his defensive position but again scooped the ball wide and Austin did the same after cleverly beating two defenders. Angell was harshly cautioned when he seemed to be the offended rather than the offender before Whitchurch’s resistance was finally broken with 15 minutes remaining as Wilson headed Boud’s corner back across Thompson and into the far corner of the net.

Fareham then looked to play out time and nearly suffered for their caution in the dying minutes as Scott Hassall flashed a drive only inches over the bar and Turpin volleyed wide from close range.

Whitchurch, with games coming thick and fast in the next fortnight, need somehow to find their earlier form and hopefully get one or two players away from the treatment table and on to the pitch.