New Milton hat-trick hero Chris Long downs 10-man Christchurch
Wessex League Cup Third Round
Christchurch FC 1
New Milton Town FC 3
NEW Milton Town's Chris Long tore the Christchurch defence apart while scoring a hat-trick as the hosts' miserable start to the season continued with their 11th loss in 13 games.
Despite the two sides playing a division apart, division one Linnets looked the more dangerous throughout the local derby, with Christchurch's best moment an own goal.
The match's first chance fell to Christchurch's Chris Speers, who ran on to a corner in acres of space before his stooping header flew well over the bar.
New Milton looked odds on to score when Long hooked a corner towards the goal with Ollie King well beaten, but captain Jamie Gleeson cleared off the line. However, the ball only made it as far as Elliot Lines, who blasted it off the underside of the crossbar before it was finally cleared.
With 12 minutes gone, Chris Long found the back of the net with a glorious left-footed swerving half volley which flew into the top left corner, leaving a rooted King with no chance.
The Linnets took control of the midfield and the match, and a Christchurch resurgence looked all the more improbable when James Rowe earned a straight red for a shocking challenge on Tyrell Sampson in the 38th minute.
The Linnets finally received the reward their efforts deserved when Long doubled their advantage, nodding an inviting Jack Dacombe cross back across the goal in the 76th minute.
Some hope was restored for the Priory in the 85th minute with a Luke Dennison own goal from a corner that appeared to make contact with three different New Milton players.
With three minutes left, Ben Cooper played a defence-splitting pass to Long, who drove into the area before stroking the ball across the keeper to seal a well-deserved win and a place in the next round.