DUMBFOUNDED boss Adie Arnold blamed a lack of desire from his punch-drunk charges as Christchurch kicked off his tenure with a spirit-crushing collapse at former club Verwood Town last night.
Priory never recovered from being hit with a two-goal blast in the opening 13 minutes as Carl Poore’s purposeful Potters stormed to a 4-0 victory.
Russell Dyer lashed an unstoppable strike across Jamie Bray in the ninth minute to get the one-sided Sydnehams Premier clash underway.
Charlie Gajic added a second and the game was up on 34 minutes when savvy veteran Matt Groves stepped over Tom Whelan’s low whipped free kick, taking Bray and Ben Kelly out of the equation, as the untouched low centre bobbled inside the far post.
Matters were made worse for Christchurch when referee Paul Knight spotted a push and awarded them a penalty on the stroke of half-time, only to reverse his decision after consulting his assistant.
The rest of the match was a non-event but another kamikaze moment gifted Verwood their fourth.
Matt Vining headed past his own keeper as Bray came out to collect a routine cross with the grateful Morgan Turner nipping in to blast Vining’s goal-bound header into the empty net.
Beaming Verwood boss Poore said: “I’m over the moon. We set out to put them under pressure from the off and got our rewards.
“If you’re quick and strong from the start, teams do buckle and we buckled Christchurch in the first 25 minutes. It was game over for them.”
It was an assessment Arnold couldn’t disagree with.
The Christchurch manager acknowledged: “Verwood were more up for it than we were, you could see what it meant to them and we were caught cold.
“Carl got them wound up in the dressing room and they came out at 100 miles-per-hour. He’s right, we buckled.
“We were hopeless. Our passing was poor and the hardest thing to take was the lack of desire from our lads."
Vining's old club Fawley AFC were also on the end of a 4-0 Friday night hammering.
John Pyatt marked his return as Lymington Town manager with a runaway victory marked by goals from Warren Kenna, Ross Lloyd, Jack Odam and Darren Ritchie.