Willett continues stunning start to life in the Hampshire Premier League as Paulsgrove thrash Liphook

Zak Willett continued his remarkable start to life in the Hampshire Premier League as Paulsgrove thumped Liphook.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 8:08 am
Zak Willett, right, about to score one of his four goals for Paulsgrove in the 7-2 thrashing of Liphook. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The 20-year-old took his tally to nine goals in only four starts with a four-goal haul in a 7-2 win that took Grove to within two points of leaders Infinity.

And Wayne Grant’s goal-happy men - that’s 31 in just six Senior Division matches now - still have two games in hand.

Willett was recommended to Grant in the summer by his assistant Steve Ledger after the latter arrived at Marsden Road following his departure from Baffins Milton Rovers.

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Tommy Doughty, right, in action for Paulsgrove against Liphook. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Ledger had played Portsmouth Sunday League football with Willett last season.

‘Zak’s a raw diamond,’ said Grant.

‘I’ve been around the Hampshire League for a few years and I’ve never seen anyone as quick as he is.

‘Initially we thought he’d be with the reserves, but once we had a look at him in pre-season we changed our mind!’

Shane Cornish, right, about to be congratulated by Gary Jeffrey after scoring for Paulsgrove against Liphook. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Willett’s first two goals gave Grove a 2-0 interval lead against Liphook.

He added two more in the second half with Shane Cornish, top scorer Danny Lane and Gary Jeffery also on target.

It was a win achieved without a host of first team squad players including skipper Aaron Fennemore, Josh Cripps, Alex Miroy, Michael Essai, Reece Lewis, Joe Dorsett and Moulay Ousman.

Lane, meanwhile, is joint-top of the Senior Division goal charts, alongside Overton’s Ross Cook, with 11 goals.

Danny Lane evades a tackle during Paulsgrove's win against Liphook. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Both Willett and Lane are attracting interest from Wessex League club Horndean, but Grant insisted the pair would be staying at Grove.

Grove’s next game is a Wessex League Cup trek to the Basingstoke area to play lower division Silchester this weekend.

They then have the honour of providing the opposition for Clanfield’s first ever HPL game on the new 3G surface at Westleigh Park on October 17.

Four-goal Zak Willett takes on the Liphook defence. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Shane Cornish, right, scores for Paulsgrove during their 7-2 caning of Liphook. Picture: Chris Moorhouse