Hythe and Dibden v Christchurch FC – 23rd April 2018

Match Date: 23rd April 2018.
Sydenhams Wessex League – Division One

Hythe & Dibden 1
Christchurch 5

Christchurch travelled to Hythe & Dibden on Monday evening in the knowledge that irrespective of the result of their close rivals for the top spot Andover New Street, who themselves travelled to Whitchurch, a draw would be sufficient to claim the trophy.

Priory were out of the blocks very quickly and were in front within four minutes. Winger James King swung a free kick into the Hythe Penalty area where Max Wilcock headed in. Numerous further chances came and went for Christchurch until just before the break, once again a King free kick this time was met with a towering header by Jon Blake to double the advantage.

Much as in the first half Priory were peppering the Hythe goal. Eventually Neale added a third goal followed by Wilcock, his second of the night, and Scott Joyce made it five. Hythe & Dibden did manage a deserved consolation goal as they continued throughout to try to play a passing game. Home substitute Lewis Danquary threaded a pass to Cairo Burton who steered past Tewkesbury.

Christchurch were presented with the Sydenhams Wessex Division One Champions Trophy amid scenes of much euphoria in a celebration of a job well done by all at Christchurch Football Club from the management and players all the way through to the committee and back room staff.

Christchurch, Tewkesburt, Wright, Jackson, Blake, Douglas, Legg, Neale, Cormack, Joyce ,Wilcock, King. Subs used Stone, Gage, Cooper.

Christchurch FC v Downton FC – 21st April 2018

Match Date: 21st April 2018.
Sydenhams Wessex League – Division One

Christchurch – 6
Downton – 0

The battle for the Sydenhams Division One title took another twist on Saturday with second placed Christchurch dishing out a six nil drubbing over Downton, while current leaders Andover New Street suffered a four nil defeat away to AFC Stoneham. This set of results put Priory back in the box seat, knowing that a draw at lowly Hythe & Dibden on Monday night would be enough to clinch the crown.

The game began in scrappy fashion with both sides continuously conceding possession. Downton keeper Gunstone-Gray was called into action in the fourteenth minute when he saved a shot from Priory front man Wilcock. The visitors responded immediately when Matt Steer got on the end of a deep cross and headed goal ward. The ball sailed over Frampton but to his relief Christchurch right back Wright was on hand to head clear from the goal line. The host`s did break the dead lock when Cormack flicked on to Wilcock who, despite being forced wide, got his shot away to maximum effect.The lead was doubled when a Matt Neale free kick found Blake in the Downton penalty area and he steered the ball home. The visitors were by no means out of it as Priory goal keeper Max Frampton was forced to make no less than three very good saves before the interval to maintain his clean sheet.

Christchurch took only five minutes to add number three, Wilcock rising high to head home a corner and Neale went close when, having rounded the keeper his effort struck the upright. Downton`s valiant efforts were by now beginning to fade as Priory began to put them to the sword. A Stone cross was flicked just wide by Wilcock and King`s thunderous volley was saved by Gunstone-Gray at his near post. With a little over five minutes to play Christchurch ran riot. Neale drove into the Downton box and squared the ball to King who duly tapped in from close range. Wilcock was then up ended in the penalty area. Up stepped Priory defender and Skipper for the day David Legg. He smashed the spot kick in to record the first goal of his Wessex League career, spanning some fourteen years to date. In the dying embers the prolific Max Wilcock completed his hat rick when he headed King`s cross for a comprehensive six goals to nil victory which sent Christchurch back to the summit with just one game to play.

Christchurch, Frampton, Wright, Jackson, Blake, Douglas, Legg, Neale, Cormack, Joyce, Wilcock, Gage. Subs used, King, Stone, Cullen.

Christchurch FC v East Cowes Victoria – 14th April 2018

Match Date: 14th April 2018.
Sydenhams Wessex League – Division One

Christchurch – 3
East Cowes Victoria – 2

Christchurch secured a return to the Sydenhams Premier League with a narrow victory over a much improved East Cowes Victoria at the M.A.Hart Stadium, Hurn Bridge on Saturday. They now find themselves embarking upon a battle for the Division one title with three games to play.

Priory took the lead just after the quarter hour mark when Wilcock collected the ball on the left flank. As he made his way across the pitch he unleashed a dipping drive which beat visiting keeper Russell all ends up as it nestled in the top corner of his goal. This proved to be one of the only highlights for the host`s as it was the Islander`s who dominated the majority of the first period. In the twenty fourth minute the ball was laid off to Cowes` front man Browne and his low shot squirmed underneath Frampton to level the tie. Ten minutes later the visitors took the lead when Burton found himself in acres of space at in the penalty area. He calmly lobbed the on rushing Max Frampton. Christchurch were probably grateful to reach the interval only one goal in arrears after an uncharacteristically ponderous and lethargic first half display.

The half time talk from Manager Ollie Cherrett certainly seemed to have done the trick as a very different Priory took to the pitch for the second half. The tempo increased dramatically as the hosts began to lay siege upon the East Cowes goal. Wilcock flicked on to Stone who shot over the bar. Wilcock himself then headed a corner narrowly wide of the target. With fifty one minutes elapsed the introduction of Marcus Cullen was pivotal in moving the ball slightly quicker and fellow substitute James King provided a pin point cross for Joyce to level the score on the hour.

Christchurch were by now in total command. King shot just wide and Wilcock took the ball past the keeper in a one on one but left himself to tighter angle to capitalise. In the seventieth minute Priory midfielder Grant Cormack picked up the ball in his own half. Seeing space ahead of him he ran deep into the opposition territory but his break came to a halt when Cowes keeper Russell brought him down in the penalty area. James King stepped up and dispatched the resultant spot kick. Another gilt edged chance followed when Wilcock laid passed to Neale but he got his effort all wrong as the ball sailed way over the bar from close range. Christchurch were reduced to ten men for the closing stages when having used all three substitutes James King had to leave the field with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. East Cowes rallied as they threw caution to the wind but Priory remained in control. With minutes to go the visitors were themselves reduced to ten as Reynolds received his second yellow card following an altercation near the corner flag.

Christchurch have a tricky looking fixture on Wednesday evening when they entertain fourth placed U.S.Portsmouth at the M.A.Hart stadium.
Christchurch: Frampton, Wright, Jackson, Blake, Senior, Legg, Neale, Cormack,Joyce, Wilcock, Stone. Subs. Used, Cullen, King, Gage.

Fawley FC v Christchurch FC – 7th April 2018

Match Date: 7th April 2018
Sydenhams Wessex League – Division One

Fawley FC 0
Christchurch FC 4

Christchurch kept their promotion hopes well and truly alive with a hard fought victory away to Fawley on Saturday afternoon.

The first half was a largely scrappy affair on a surprisingly bumpy surface making it difficult for either side to get the ball down and pass easily. Priory striker Max Wilcock crossed for Blake in the twentieth minute but his shot was saved by Page in the home goal. Five minutes later Wilcock smashed a volley goal wards but from point blank range Page somehow got in the way to prevent a certain goal. The Fawley goal keeper had to receive treatment for his efforts but was able to carry on unaffected. The deadlock was broken on the half hour when Christchurch winger King floated a free kick into the penalty area. Wilcock rose to head the ball low into the corner. Priory carried the lead into the break.

The home side started the second period with all guns blazing and Priory had to endure a ten minute spell of sustained pressure. Fawleys` marauding right back Keating forced Christchurch keeper Frampton into a smart save at his near post and shortly after Frampton, deputising for the injured Tewkesbury, distinguished himself when he saved a well struck shot superbly only to recover and parry away the follow up from Bradley. This may have proved to be something of a turning point as barley four minutes later Priory doubled their lead through Matt Neale’s pin point left foot volley following more good work from the tireless Max Wilcock. Christchurch now began to turn the screw as, once again Wilcock crossed into the danger area. Page got a firm hand to the ball but inadvertently turned it straight into the path of the on rushing Cormack who confidently smashed home from just inside the area. The game was effectively over in the sixty fifth minute when the impressive Wilcock headed a corner in for Priory`s fourth and his second of the afternoon. There was still time for Grant Cormack to head another corner against the upright before referee Dunn blew the final whistle.

Fawley: Page, Keating, Hawkins, Sayce, Lucas, Buckthorpe, Bradley, Semmens, Murphy, French, Bolton. Subs used. Knight, Burch, Hawkins.
Christchurch: Frampton, Wright, Jackson, Blake, Senior, Legg, Neale, Cormack, Joyce, Wilcock, King. Subs used, Gage, Stone, Cullen.

Christchurch FC v AFC Stoneham – 24th March 2018

Match Date: 24th March 2018
Sydenhams Wessex League – Division One

Christchurch FC 4
AFC Stoneham 2

Christchurch extended their lead at the summit of the Sydenhams Wessex League Division One with a victory over second place A.F.C. Stoneham at the M.A. Hart Stadium, Hurn Bridge on Saturday.

In an even start to the game Priory came closest to opening the scoring in the fifth minute when Cormack rose highest to meet a King corner but could not keep his header down. Stoneham responded by breaking quickly towards the home goal. Jack Brady was first to a low cross but his near post flick went narrowly wide of Jordan Tewkesbury`s goal. In the fourteenth minute James King beat visiting keeper Williams to a through ball. Despite having been forced wide the Christchurch winger coolly stood a cross up to the far post where a grateful Scott Joyce completed the formality of heading into an unguarded net and give Priory the lead. Five minutes later Joyce, once again tested Williams with a rising drive but the Stoneham man dealt comfortably with the effort. The lead didn`t ultimately last for very long when following a corner kick the ball found it`s way to Sergio Caballero who made no mistake from close range. Christchurch came storming back again and within six minutes had regained the advantage. The ball was played into the feet of Wilcock on the edge of the penalty area. He turned smartly and struck a low shot past a despairing Williams. Wilcock had a further opportunity to score but was denied by a wonderful tackle by Stoneham`s Beckerley. Just after the half hour Priory had a huge let off when Caballero lost his footing just as he seemed certain to score. Christchurch goalkeeper Tewkesbury was called into action again when following a corner Galloway`s free header fell comfortably into his grasp. As the first period was coming to a close Caballero found himself goal side of the Christchurch back line. As he progressed into the area he went to ground as a result of a nudge from behind. Referee Adam Baker pointed to the spot, and Caballero duly despatched the penalty for his second and a deserved equaliser for the visitors at the end of an entertaining and even first half.

Stoneham started the second half quickly. Visiting Skipper Alex Welch burst through the heart of the Priory midfield and into the danger area but his threat was snuffed out by a perfectly timed tackle from Chris Senior. Having weathered an early storm Christchurch worked their way back into the game and in the fifty fifth minute took the lead for the third time when King curled a free kick round the defensive wall and past an unsighted Williams in the Stoneham goal. The game continued to be evenly contested, Stoneham perhaps edging possession, but Priory looking the more dangerous. The hosts had to wait until the eightieth minute to settle the nerves with a fourth goal. Matt Neale gained possession part way into the Stoneham half. As the defence appeared to split in two Neale drove deep into the penalty area and squared the ball to James King who had the simplest of tasks to tap the ball home and put the game beyond A.F.C. Stoneham`s reach.
Christchurch now have a seven point cushion at the top of the table but still have some difficult opponents to encounter in the coming weeks, however they can approach these game with confidence.

Christchurch, Tewkesbury, Wright, Jackson, Blake, Senior, Legg, Neale, Cormack, Joyce, Wilcock, King.. subs used, Grange, Stone, Cullen.

Downton FC v Christchurch FC – 24th February 2018

24-02-2018

Downton FC 1
Christchurch FC 3

Sydenhams Football League – Division One

Christchurch continued their recent fine form with a workmanlike three one victory, including a Max Wilcock hat-trick against Wiltshire rivals Downton on Saturday.

Both sides had early chances, for Priory, Wilcock brought a full length save from Downton keeper Gunstone-Gray, and at the other end Rutter completely missed his kick when well placed. We had to wait until the twentieth minute for the deadlock to be broken. Gage flicked on to Christchurch front man Wilcock who emphatically finished to give the visitors the lead. The advantage, however, lasted for little more than two minutes. Following a disputed corner a spectacular over head kick forced an uncharacteristic mistake by Priory stopper Tewkesbury who spilt the effort. Downton`s Rutter made amends for his earlier miss as he was on hand to poke the ball home. As the fairly uninspiring first half approached the forty second minute Gage and Wilcock combined once more, but this time the Priory striker`s header struck the upright . Both sides went to the interval with a goal apiece. Despite a number of searching long throw ins from Downton`s Telfer it was Christchurch who appeared to be marginally on top.

The second period saw almost total domination by the visitors, with precious little seen of the Downton attack. Fletcher was on hand to head clear on the home goal line with the goalkeeper beaten and in the fifty second minute the lively Wilcock shot narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area. A second goal for Priory seemed almost inevitable, and on the hour Max Wilcock obliged, when, given the freedom of the six yard box headed a James King cross past the helpless Gunstone-gray. Wilcock, once again drew a save in the seventy fifth minute, and five minutes later second half substitute Adam Grange was unfortunate not to add to the tally when his low drive was pushed around the post. Wilcock`s hard work and willingness to chase seemingly lost causes was rewarded in the eightieth minute. A long clearence into the Downton half looked comfortable for the defenders or the goal keeper but Wilcock had other ideas. he chased the ball down ahead of everyone and stroked into an unguarded net to complete his hat-trick and consign Downton to a home defeat.

Christchurch now sit in second place with a number of games in hand over their nearest rivals.

Christchurch, Tewkesbury, Wright, Jackson, Blake, Senior, Legg, Gage Cormack, Stone, Wilcock, King. Subs used, Grange, Douglas.

Report by Jeremy