Mansfield’s first half hat-trick helps Meon Milton trounce depleted Whiteley in Hampshire Premier League
Conor Mansfield fired a hat-trick on only his third outing for Hampshire Premier League newcomers Meon Milton.
The striker is among a host of players who joined Meon in the summer from former Mid-Solent League rivals FC Strawberry.
Having netted twice the previous week in a HPL Cup win against Kingsclere, Mansfield went on better as Meon handed fellow Division 1 South East new boys a 5-1 beating at Cockleshell Gardens.
Left back Fred Hoare, another ex-Strawberry regular, struck twice including a second half shot from about 30 yards that screamed into the top corner. ‘It was incredible,’ said boss Bic Singh.
Meon stormed into a 4-0 half-time lead with Mansfield completing a treble after Hoare had broken the deadlock.
For Whiteley, it was the heaviest defeat in their three-year history.
‘It was only the third league game we’ve lost,’ said boss Steve Thomas.
‘I’m not too worried - we had eight players out including both our goalkeepers and our captain.
‘I’ve never known anything like it - for the first time, I thought I might have to get my boots back on at the age of 55!
‘The opponents played a good game. They were quick, they closed us down quickly. But I’ll look forward to giving them a proper game at the Meadowside.’
Keeper Anton Blake, signed in pre-season from Wessex Leaguers Hythe & Dibden, and skipper Aaron Lobb, once of Eastleigh, were among Wanderers’ absentees.
Regular centre halves Joe Besci and Frankie Rudland and University of Portsmouth skipper Alex Fitzgerald were also missing.
Joe McClean bagged Whiteley’s consolation when they trailed 5-0.
Meon host former Mid-Solent League rivals Harvest this weekend. Adam Beckett is sidelined through injury and Frankie Scott, another former Strawberry player, is a fitness doubt.
‘It will be a bit of a battle,’ said Singh regarding renewing rivalries with Harvest. ‘It will be tough from front to back.’
Krzysick Krysztofowicz continued his goal-laden start to 2021/22 as Harvest suffered their opening defeat of the Hampshire Premier League Division 1 South East season.
The Polish striker netted NINE times in QK Southampton’s 13-0 curtain-raising win against Netley - on the same day Harvest thrashed Michelmersh & Timsbury 11-0.
Krysztofowicz then netted twice in a 5-3 HPL Cup win against top flight Liphook before adding another brace in a 4-3 victory over Harvest at Front Lawn.
‘He’s too good for this level, he should be playing Wessex League,’ declared Harvest boss Steve Harris.
Krysztofowicz wasn’t even in QK’s first team last season; instead, he plundered 19 goals in 16 Hampshire Combination West Division outings for their reserves.
‘We were off the pace,’ Harris summed up. ‘If they have a main man you can’t let him play, and we did.
‘The only positive - and you have to take the positives - is that we can’t play that badly again. It was the worst I’ve seen us play for a while.’
Callum Harman, Harry Leigh and an own replied for Harvest, who were awarded a late penalty by the referee - only for the QK linesman to put his flag up.
‘It’s frustrating,’ rued Harris. ‘But that’s what you get at this level of the game. It is what it is - you have to go through these levels to get where you want to be.’