After a long Christmas break in which neither side played for more than a month due to the icy weather, both sets of players were eager for action despite the wet conditions.

Ilsington started brightly and took an early lead – Andy Harvey, who received the ball outside the penalty area, turned a Christians' defender before firing a shot into the right corner of the net.

The visitors hit back when the hosts failed to close down their striker and his well-struck shot clipped the post before crossing the line.

The game became scrappy, with the pitch making it difficult to play passing football, but Villa did manage to restore their advantage before half-time – Ben Harper's run down the left gave him time to pick out Neil Pollard, who tapped the ball home.

The hosts stretched their lead early in the second half when a through-ball by Ben Harper found debutante Will Small, who cleverly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper to score.

Ilsington made it four when an error at the back by Christians allowed Small to nip in and round the keeper to tap in his second of the game.

A header into the net from a freekick gave Christians renewed hope, and they cut the deficit to one when a Chris Stocker error was punished.

Despite Villa losing some confidence and beginning to give the ball away, Christians couldn't find an equaliser and the home team hit them on the counter to seal a 5-3 win.

Ben Harper broke down the left before unselfishly cutting the ball back for Small to complete his hat-trick. As well as the match ball, he also picked up man of the match award.

Tomorrow, Ilsington Villa host Brixham Villa Thirds in the Les Bishop Cup, kick-off 2pm.