Alresford Town 0 Whitchurch United 2: TUESDAY’S storm weather caused this match to be postponed by 48 hours, but Alresford found they could perform no better on a Thursday night than they had on any number of Tuesdays.

This defeat, their eighth loss on the trot, leaves Sydenhams Premier safety a long, long way away.

The Magpies gave a debut to Craig Stanley on the wing and restored Ben Kneller in goal. Iain Calder and Gareth Barnes made their first starts since January and August respectively.

The match got off to an uninspiring start, and for a long time, failed to improve much. Calder’s positional sense gave Alresford some defensive stability, while the presence of the muscular Barnes up front encouraged the long ball forward. That didn’t make for a thrilling spectacle.

Whitchurch had the better of the few chances in the first half, with the lively Danny Phillips and Rudi Plummer posing the questions for the home defence. Alresford didn’t trouble Brad Snelling in the Jam Boys’ goal but as long as they could keep parity they were reasonably content.

Unfortunately, Calder’s recurring knee injury prevented his reappearance after the interval, and Whitchurch quickly applied the pressure. Some end-to-end football followed, Barnes heading Ben Thomson’s delivery narrowly wide of the far post while at the other end Kneller had to save a deflected free kick from near-namesake Luke Neller.

United took the lead on 70 minutes when Steve Allen won possession wide on the left and fired in a low shot which appeared to take a touch off a defender before it passed under the diving Kneller. Two minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead through Neller’s raking drive, again from the left.

Alresford had rarely looked like scoring, so getting two or more seemed out of the question. And so it proved, the Jam Boys pocketing the three points with ease and leaving the Magpies with a difficult run-in and a whole lot of ground to make up.