Not the best start to the afternoon for the Villa when right back Simon Whitney had to come off after just 20 minutes having aggravated a foot injury in the warm up. In fact, it turns out to be a broken bone which could end his season prematurely. Rotten luck for Simon who has been instrumental in our run of fine defensive performances of late.
Enter Tayo Oledele stage right to come in at Centre back with Stu Kempton moving to right back. With Max and Matt both absent Tayo had travelled down from London as a favour to assist with the warm up and as emergency defensive cover. I think he fully expected a quiet day by the coast.
Despite the changes, the Home side were immediately settled thanks to great work from Liam Downes, showing great strength to turn his man and fire in at the keeper's near post. Indeed, two more were added just before the break. The first as the ball cannoned off an unfortunate defender and over the line and the second a neat finish from Nick Boutal following good work from Sam Terry.
The game was then then almost put to bed straight away following the restart with Liam hitting the post. However it was Sam Terry in the 57th minute that did just that following excellent work from Nick Boutal repaying the earlier favour from Sam.
Two late goals were added as the Visitors chased an unlikely comeback through Sam and Liam both getting their second. For Liam it capped off an excellent MOM performance and masterclass of old fashioned centre forward play. Although credit to all the goalscorers for some superb finishing and to the defensive line for keeping the back door firmly shut.
So now 7 wins on the bounce, 6 of which with clean sheets. A very busy period coming up though now with Easter and then some midweek games in April no doubt, so no taking of feet off the gas please.
As for the Cup, we now play Bosham in the Semi Final, date and venue to be confirmed.