BOSS Ollie Cherrett hailed his players' character after Christchurch battled back from two goals down to beat Verwood Town and move top of Sydenhams Wessex One.

Trailing 2-0 at the break, Priory extended to 10 games their unbeaten league run after striker Max Wilcock scored a second-half hat-trick and winger James King also netted.

It was the second time this season that Christchurch had won having been 2-0 down at the interval, achieving the same feat against Romsey last month.

Although keen to prevent that method of victory becoming a habit, Cherrett has been impressed with his side’s determination to turn defeat into victory.

He told the Daily Echo: “We’ve got a never-say-die attitude and the character of the lads was outstanding yet again.

“Some of our first-half performances haven’t been good enough and we’ve got to improve on that.

“Our second-half displays, especially at Romsey and against Verwood, have seen us play our best football, so it’s about trying to get that consistency for the full 90 minutes.

“This was a prime example of a game of two halves. In the first, I thought we were poor all round. We got undone twice in the first 10 minutes by two long throw-ins and just didn’t get going.

“We had strong words at the break and came out in the second half a completely different side.”

Priory displaced Laverstock & Ford to lead the way in Wessex One and although delighted with his team’s progress, Cherrett says it is important to remain grounded.

He said: “It’s where we want to be but we need to be aware that other teams will want to shoot us down.

“We’ve got to deal with the pressure of being top of the league but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. We haven’t won anything yet as nothing’s won in November.

“It’s another three points. We’ll keep pushing on, hopefully keep winning games and in May we’ll see where we end up.”

Christchurch take on Wessex Premier outfit Fareham Town in the FA Vase second round on Saturday, with £900 going to the winning team.

Priory have already beaten their weekend opponents once this season, winning 4-3 in the Hampshire Senior Cup in September, but Cherrett expects Fareham to be a much-changed side this time around.

“It’s going to be a very tough game, that’s an absolute certainty,” he said.

“I think they’ll be a completely different outfit from when we played them before but they’re a good side and it will be hard for us.

“Having said that, we are at home and will go into the game full of confidence. We might be the underdogs but this group of players are capable of producing something special.”