Winchester City exorcised any demons which were hanging about following their narrow FA Cup exit on Canvey Island on Saturday with a 7-1 demolition of Christchurch.

Two Warren Bentley penalties inside three minutes just before the break finally broke the visitors’ resolve and City went on to net another four after the break to clinch an emphatic Sydenhams Premier victory.

It was mission accomplished for joint City boss Tim Cole who said: “We were a bit leggy after the Concord game and we would certainly have taken this score before the kick-off as we fielded more or less the same line up.”

Christchurch looked lively up front for half an hour with Sparsholt Academy scholar Callum Cuniffe-Pilley and Jack Lovell causing problems.

After Chris Manning’s scruffy opener just before the half hour Lovell’s thunderous strike went through keeper Jason Collins’ fingers for the equaliser five minutes later.

That was as good as it got for Christchurch as Warren Bentley was pulled back by Matt Swindlehurst for the first penalty before a handball decision also went their way minutes later, Bentley despatching both.

It was the striker’s last contribution as he was replaced by Geoff Dunn at the break as a precaution for a heel injury and after the visitors had again shown signs of battling back a corner was not cleared and the unfortunate Lovell sliced into his own net and a rout was on the cards.

Michael McEnery slid a precision pass in for Dunn to finish well for the fifth and, with Christchurch wilting, Ben Stanbrook arrived late at a corner to slide home the sixth ten minutes from time.

Dunn then put Dominic Cope in for the seventh which went in off the post to complete the victory.

Cole added: “The substitutes brought us the energy we needed and Warren, Zach Glasspool and Chris Manning were all feeling twinges and we need them rested for the visit of Whitchurch on Saturday.”