DORSET Sunday Challenge Cup holders Abbey retained their crown with a 3-1 victory over Alderney Manor at Specsavers County Ground.

It was always going to be a difficult task for Division Two Alderney against their Division One opponents.

Max Wilcock was prominent for Abbey in the early exchanges, going close with a far-post header which was deflected for a corner and then driving a 25-yard effort against the foot of the post.

Wilcock gave his man the slip just outside the penalty area in the 20th minute and unleashed a shot which brought a superb save from Alderney keeper Chris Johnson, who tipped it round the post for a corner.

Johnson was soon in action again, making another excellent save from Richie Sands’ fierce drive before Alderney’s James King fired just over the bar from the edge of the box.

Brad Hill played a great diagonal through ball to Chris Long on the half hour and the Abbey frontman slipped it past the advancing keeper and narrowly wide of the far post.

But the deadlock was broken on the stroke of half time when Wilcock steered the ball home to put Abbey ahead.

Mark Dykes then put Wilcock away down the right in the 55th minute.

When he was brought down just outside the penalty area, Hill doubled Abbey’s lead when he tucked the resultant free-kick just inside the near post.

Alderney pulled one back two minutes later when King took a corner that curled in at the far post.

But Abbey restored their two-goal advantage when Toby Williams was penalised for a challenge 25-yards out. Micky Hubbard stepped up to drill the free-kick into the bottom corner.

Abbey’s hopes were raised in the 73rd minute when Williams took the ball past keeper Andy Knights and clipped the ball goalwards. Sean Griffiths got back to cover and divert the ball behind for a corner.

There was one last effort for Alderney when King drove a 25-yard effort towards the top corner but Knights made a superb save, turning it round the post.

Abbey: Knights, Payne, Vincent (Dawe, 77), Strong, Wilcock, Long (Collins, 86), Hubbard, Dykes (Willis, 83), Hill, Sands, Griffiths.

Alderney: Johnson, Marshall (Chetwynd, 80), Carrivick, Hyne, King, Robinson (Roberts, 80), Williams, Thompson, Arnold, Meldrum, Gillingham (MacFarlan, 76).