Town dominated proceedings at New Bourne Park and ran out worthy 7-2 winners with a triumphant performance. Scott Harries continued his fine form by netting a hat trick in his third game for the club. There was also a brace from Town boss Lee Ashcroft, a goal for skipper Rick Murch and one for Jonty McDonald who started the goal fest after eight minutes.
After the match Ashcroft commented: “Another win and two on the bounce. 10 goals in two games. I thought some of our football in the first half was top class, you don’t see much of it at this level. Second half when we got to terms with the wind and began turning them again, they dropped off and we finished the game in style. It’s a new system for a lot of our players, we’re going to work on it in pre-season and hopefully continue to play entertaining football next season.”
Town were without left back Sam Nightingale who may be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury so Conor Linighan played in his position. With no Gary Basterfield, Lennie Reid returned to the starting eleven.
Right from the off, Town showed their attacking intent. Ashcroft won a flick on and Harries ran through on goal but his attempt was comfortably gathered. Then after great play on the edge of the area Harries had an effort that came back off the bar.
On the eighth minute McDonald opened the scoring. Ashcroft laid off McDonald who from a central position tucked the ball into the right hand corner.
Then Thornton had a little spell of pressure of their own; after having two crosses blocked the ball was played to captain John Beavers whose long range effort was easy for Ellis Hawksworth.
It didn’t last long. On the 16th minute Lennie Reid’s deflected cross fell to Ashcroft who made it 0-2. A minute later it was 0-3. Town won the ball back straight from kick off. The ball was played out to McDonald who found Murch, whose effort took a bobble before beating the Thornton keeper from a tight angle.
Rampant Town added a fourth on 24 minutes. Harries’ chipped effort from the edge of the area was perfectly executed and left the home keeper stranded.
With the game already out of sight Town continued to press for more goals. Harries collected the ball well from a Town free kick but he again hit the frame of the goal. Ryan McKenna then slid McDonald through on goal but he took too many touches and the chance was snuffed out. A minute later he saw his free kick go inches over.
Town took their foot off the gas in the opening moments of the second half and Thornton capitalised. Tom Ardson with a mazy run found his way into the box. The initial attempt was blocked but Christopher Coll was able to put the ball into the back of the net despite Sam Marsh’s attempted intervention.
This spurred Town into action. Ashcroft had an attempted cross deflected on the bar. Hawksworth’s long goal kick had Harries through on goal but once again Thornton were saved by the frame of the goal.
Harries finally got his second on the 73rd minute. McDonald crossed in from the left for Harries to tap in. From the restart Thornton came forward and an astonishing strike from Ardson made it 2-5. Little consolation for the home side as Town would go up the other end and Ashcroft would head in his second.
Town wrapped up the tie by adding a seventh. They were given an advantage for a foul in the middle of midfield. Thornton hadn’t switched on, allowing McDonald to run down the wing unopposed. He crossed in for Harries who flicked the ball in to the goal for his hat trick.
It was a great team performance for Town who will be looking for another strong performance against Eagley in their final home game of the season.
Team: 1 Ellis Hawksworth, 2 Joe Melling, 3 Conor Linnighan, 4 Rich Murch 17, 5 Sam Marsh, 6 Ryan McKenna, 7 Scott Harries 24/73/80, 8 Garry Longshaw (15 Stu Garry), 9 Lee Ashcroft 16/76, 10 Lennie Reid (12 Jordan Bowen), 11 Jonty McDonald 8,
Unused Subs 14 Matty Edgar, 16 Rob Batty.