Whitchurch United – 5, Cowes Sports – 0
WESSEX LEAGUE CUP
It had been a long time coming for the left-sided player who often threatens to take sides apart and against Cowes he did just that with the opener on 12 minutes and a treble in 15 minutes midway through the second half.
Cowes arrived sitting three points behind Division One leaders Andover Town with a game in hand but were plainly understrength and United went at them from the start with Jason Graham and Ashley Ledger both going close before Walker lashed in a fizzing 30 yarder to open the scoring.
Pa Touray’s vicious strike then warmed the hands of keeper Ed Hatt while at the back the superb Adam Pearson tidied up any sporadic attacks with the minimum of fuss.
Tom Hindmarsh tipped a Dan Hatcher shot over the bar just before the half hour as Cowes threatened to make the Jam Boys pay for missed chances as Touray, Graham and Walker all failed to pull the trigger.
After the break Cowes had a brief spell where they looked busy up front but the lack of a strong bench was always going to tell and once United boss Jim Macey introduced fresh legs there was only ever going to be one outcome.
On the hour Walker’s pace took him clear down the left and his finish was precise and within a minute Graham’s shot had been parried by Hatt and Walker nipped in to complete his hat-trick.
When the same man lofted a hopeful ball in and watched it take a freaky bounce over Hatt and in for the fourth it was plainly not Cowes’ night.
Substitute Jared Wetherick skied a sitter for the visitors near the death before Ledger worked in from the right and made it 5-0 right on the whistle.
Macey called the performance:
“A professional job – the same as when we won at Hythe and Dibden and a job well done.”
“It was nice for the forwards to get on the scoresheet and I was pleased for Luke and the lads as we needed a boost.”
United now make the unenviable trip to Moneyfields on Saturday before next Tuesday’s Hants Senior Cup match at Eastleigh although if the Conference side draw with Mangotsfield United in the FA Cup then a replay would take precedence.
Sports editor Kerry Miller