WARREN Bentley was at his elusive best as Alresford Town buried Christchurch under an avalanche of goals in the Sydenhams Premier Division on Saturday.
Priory’s defence just didn’t know where the livewire marksman was going to pop up next as Bentley helped himself to a four-goal haul in the Magpies’ comprehensive 7-1 victory at Arlebury Park.
There were no such problems for Bentley’s strike partner Zach Glasspool.
Time and time again, Alresford’s targetman picked out his attacking accomplice with subtle flicks and passes that tore the visitors’ defence to shreds.
For the first goal, however, the roles were reversed – Bentley crossing low from the right and Glasspool pouncing after Dom Cope’s initial effort had been hacked into his path with 17 minutes gone. Bentley ran onto Joe Wright’s long ball and rounded the ’keeper to make it 2-0 and soon doubled his tally with a close-range finish.
On 40 minutes, Bentley turned provider again, delivering a corner which Stuart Mott headed home. Two minutes later, he completed his hat-trick by finishing from close-range.
Mark Smith tucked away a spot kick to pull one back for Christchurch, but the Magpies restored their five-goal advantage onthe hour.
Mike McEnery picked up possession on the halfway line and ran through to beat ’keeper Ben Field with a low, diagonal shot.
Three minutes later the unstoppable Bentley struck again, slotting the ball under Field to condemn Christchurch to their heaviest league defeat for four-and-a-half years. The last time they suffered that badly was when Bournemouth Poppies put seven past them, without reply, in August 2009. The victory sets up the fourth-placed Magpies for tonight’s big home showdown against reigning league champions Blackfield & Langley.