Battle weary Whitchurch lose to last gasp strike

First published in Sport

WHITCHURCH UNITED 0 MONEYFIELDS 1.

The Whitchurch players, management and officials must feel they are on a treadmill that is getting faster and shows no signs of stopping at present with games seemingly coming along at the rate of three days. Such was the case on Thursday when, just two days after a draining North Hants Cup Final against Alresford, they faced the always competitive Moneyfields at Longmeadow.

Whitchurch, with injuries already a problem, suffered a further blow when Adam Pearson limped away from the warm up and were still readjusting in the opening minutes when they could have conceded twice. Free scoring Steve Hutchings was denied by keeper Adam West’s legs before he headed narrowly wide from a Jake Raine cross. A Craig Angell free-kick was too high and as if the loss of Pearson was not enough, Scott Hassell limped off after 15 minutes with Louis Macey coming on and causing a further positional reshuffle.

After Nic Turpin had fired wide a superb pass by Tom Lockyer sent Isaac Sedu clear only to be denied by former Andover keeper Dave Hook and Sedu’s pace and trickery troubled the visiting left flank all evening. A Lockyer cross was only half cleared and Angell’s shot shaved the post and the same player had another effort charged down.

The Jam Boys went close to breaking the deadlock on the restart as Angell’s free-kick bounced to safety off the far post and as they enjoyed a greater share of the possession Tom Lockyer – who along with Angell never stopped running all evening – was too high, Sedu fired into the side netting and Hook came a long way out of his goal to deny Shane Lock. However as they visibly tired the visitors, with Hutchings to the fore, came back strongly with the big striker too high from distance and a header from Jamie Hore only inches wide before, cruelly for the home side, they snatched the winner with just three minutes remaining. A slightly contentious free-kick was awarded by the dugout and Hutchings rose highest to power a header against the crossbar and was the quickest to react, stabbing the ball past West when it was crossed again into the area. Whitchurch’s last chance came with a Turpin free- kick but the defensive wall did its job and Whitchurch sadly had nothing to show for their evening’s endeavours.

Now they have to patch up the wounded and prepare for another difficult 90 minutes when AFC Portchester visit tomorrow.

 

John Gorman.

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