DOWNTON remained top of the Wessex League Division One after they enjoyed a 3-1 success over visiting fifth placed Whitchurch United, writes BEN SMITH.

However, it was the visitors who started the better leaving the Robins on the back foot for first 15 minutes.

The Downton defence seemed a little unsteady and were lucky not to concede early.

Downton shot stopper Ernest Osei pulled off a sublime save which was the turning point for the Robins.

Downton were missing several key players, but the return of skipper Craig Tyson shored things up through the middle.

Some nice work on the right from Laurance Larbi and James Clarke threatened Whitchurch on several occasions and the skilful Romero was proving to hot for the visitors.

Downton went close with Abdul Razek latching onto a sweet through ball from Robbie Owen ,but the Whitchurch goalkeeper was in fine form to keep the home side at bay.

Downton forced several corners towards the end of the first half but couldn’t find the net after several goal mouth scrambles.

At half time Downton went into the break much the better side.

A half-time team talk proved vital for the Robins, the minute the whistle went the league leaders knew what the had to to and they did it well.

The pace of the game of the game increased and the work rate from every Downton player increased.

Theo Walfarth pulled all the strings through the middle and he got everyone playing at their best.

His workrate was infectious and it worked its way thru the side and 10 minutes into the second-half Downton found themselves 1-0 up thru Razek’s coolly struck penalty after being chopped down after being found by Walfarth’s through ball.

Downton's tails were up and this time it was Larbi whose pace was electric.

His driving run into the box saw him unleash another great strike to double the Robins lead on 51 minutes.

The pressure was building for the visitors with everyone pressing them in numbers and forcing the mistakes.

Downton made inroads time and time again with excellent work from Romero and Howe.

The Whitchurch goalkeeper was a busy in the final stages as Downton did not let off the gas.

With 15 minutes to go and Whitchurch found themselves on a rare attack and forced a corner.

A defensive error let the visitor’s back in the game as Harry Butcher scored and the Downton stopper would have felt he could have done better.

But this did not stop Downton in there tracks. Romero, Owen and Larbi all had other ideas and all three linked up well to create the third.

Some trickery from Romero and a one two with Larbi saw Owen thump home to seal all three points in a highly entertaining game.

After the game manager Ben Smith said: “After the first 15 minutes I thought there would only be one winner today.

“The lads did very well to soak up early pressure and to come out the other side like they did was very pleasing.”

He added: “There were some excellent performances today from James Clarke and Romero, but for me Theo Walfarth was outstanding and man of the match.

“We still have areas we need to be better in, which we will work on but overall another it was a great win and three points which is imperative.”

Next for the leaders is a trip to Andover Town on Saturday and then on Tuesday night they are at home to Warminster Town in the second round of the Wiltshire Senior Cup.