Match Report -

Match Report - , by Ian Craig

Team Solent v Whitchurch United


Team Solent 9 Whitchurch United 0

This was a case of déjà vu for Whitchurch. Their visit to Test Park last season produced nine goals – with Solent scoring seven – and yesterday it was nine goals again but this time Solent scored all nine. Three up inside the first thirteen minutes Solent were simply too good in all departments and if they can maintain this form they could be there or there about come the end of the season.

Whitchurch, no doubt buoyed by their midweek win at Bashley, took only three minutes to find that this was going to be a different experience and a difficult afternoon as Tyrell Mitford picked the ball up in midfield and strode forward before beating Lewis Watch in the visiting goal from twenty yards. Sylvano Obeng was wide with a similar effort, Mitford fired across goal from a narrow angle and Watch bravely denied Toby Adekunle before goal number two in the seventh minute. Obeng gave the defenders five yards start in pursuit of Jemal Wiseman’s through ball but still managed to coolly slot the ball into the corner of the net. Watch denied Obeng from a similar chance but with the visitors being totally overrun in midfield, Watch again was forced to go down at Obeng’s only for the ball to run loose and be back heeled into the net by the tall striker. Thirteen minutes and three goals. A Whitchurch free kick saw Scott Hassell’s header held by Lee Webber under the bar before a heavy, and un-forecast downpour, made conditions unpleasant for all for a few minutes. Obeng marred his afternoon with a caution for an unnecessary challenge on the touchline and Whitchurch’s Smith was lucky not to suffer a similar fate or worse after an off the ball incident unseen by the Officials. Webber held another close range header and after an overhead effort from Obeng came back off the bar with Watch saving superbly from Wiseman on the follow up, the home side made it four some ten minutes before the break. The visiting defence failed to deal with a cross, Mitford’s shot was blocked and Obeng tucked the loose ball home to complete his hat trick. Whitchurch had their best chance of the game when Solent lost possession allowing Brendon Hammerston a clear run on goal only for Webber’s legs to deny him. Obeng was inches wide with a far more audacious back heel before the impressive Ryan Dacres-Smith freed Odekunle and the winger lashed the ball home from thirty yards. There was still time for a sixth as Mitford beat Watch from outside the box – probably the only time the keeper was at fault on what was for him a very busy afternoon.

Whitchurch made two changes at the break but the second half started as the first half had finished with Mitford shaving the post from distance and Jim Orvis hitting the bar from an Adekunle cross before Mitford found acres of space on the right and Obeng steered the cross past Watch to make his personal tally four and the score seven. This was to be the striker’s last involvement as the raft of second half substitutes commenced. Whitchurch had shored up their midfield with their changes and certainly gave a better account of themselves in the second forty five minutes but Solent were ever dangerous going forward. Watch saved low down at Orvis’s feet and was then left stranded by his defence when Wiseman’s through ball sent Orvis clear for number eight. Solent had only once before reached double figures in a competitive fixture and looked on par to make it twice when Orvis added goal number nine with the defence again nowhere. Webber saved from Danny Phillips and at the other end Watch twice rescued his side, and prevented the ten, by leaving his area to deal with through balls with the defence in disarray.

It is difficult to judge because on the day Whitchurch were poor – the gulf between the two sides was at times as wide as the Solent – but on this showing the home side will rapidly climb the table and could well have a say in the Title destination at the seasons end.

And Solent top scorer Jesse Laessen-Waller was on the bench all afternoon