ALRESFORD TN 0, WHITCHURCH UTD 2
STORMY weather caused this match to be postponed by 48 hours, but Alresford found Thursday no better than any number of recent Tuesdays.
This defeat, their eighth league loss on the trot, leaves Sydenhams Premier safety a long, long way away.
The Magpies gave a debut to Craig Stanley on the wing and restored Ben Kneller in goal. Iain Calder and Gareth Barnes made their first starts since January and August respectively.
The match was uninspiring early on and failed to improve much. Calder’s positional sense gave Alresford some defensive stability, while the presence of the muscular Barnes up front encouraged the long ball forward. That didn’t make for a thrilling spectacle.
Whitchurch had the better of the few chances in the first half, with the lively Danny Phillips and Rudi Plummer testing the home defence. Alresford failed to trouble Brad Snelling in the Jam Boys’ goal, but as long as they could keep parity they were reasonably content.
However, a recurring knee injury ended Calder’s game at half-time and Whitchurch were quick to apply pressure. Some end-to-end football followed. For Alresford, Barnes heading Ben Thomson’s delivery narrowly wide of the far post, while at the other end Kneller had to save a deflected free-kick from Luke Neller.
United finally took the lead on 70 minutes. Steve Allen won possession wide on the left and fired in a low shot which took a slight deflection before passing under the diving Kneller.
Two minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead through Neller’s raking drive, again from the left, and it was game over.
The Jam Boys pocketed the three points with ease, leaving the Magpies with a whole lot of ground to make up.