Thompson’s treble sees Town reign against King

Craig Watkin fires home Whitnash's second. Picture: Morris Troughton
Craig Watkin fires home Whitnash's second. Picture: Morris Troughton

Whitnash Town manager Barry Shearsby got the response he was looking for as his side bounced back from their tame Birmingham Sunday Vase exit to beat Christ The King 5-2 in the Telegraph Challenge Cup.

John Blunsom and Alex Unitt returned to bolster the squad after long-term absences while Martin Thompson rolled back the years by scoring a hat-trick.

Town suffered the worst possible start when high-flying King opened the scoring from the spot in the second minute.

However, Town hauled themselves level five minutes later when a fine ball from James Footman found Ryan Billington on the left who beat his marker and fired low into the corner of the net.

Despite difficult conditions, Whitnash tried to play football, while the visitors looked to hit them on the break.

Poor final balls restricted both sides’ opportunities but Town moved in front in the 35th minute when Craig Watkin fired home a free-kick from the edge of the box after a clumsy challenge by a centre-half.

With the wind behind them after the break, Christ The King dominated possession, with Whitnash happy to rely on the counter.

Ryan Mason was called on to make a couple of saves before Town took control, Thompson converting a Charlie Smith cross.

Kings reduced the deficit with a deflected effort but almost immediately Smith and Thompson again combined to make it 4-2 .

Elliot Powell was then the provider as Thompson beat a defender to poke home his hat-trick and seal a morale-boosting victory.

“We are obviously delighted with the win,” said Shearsby. “We will now look to feed off it and go on a run, startingat home to Hawkesmill on Saturday.”

Town’s reserves crashed out of the Foleshill Charity Cup with a 5-0 defeat at Rugby FC.