UTTOXETER Town closed in on second place in the Staffordshire County Senior League Premier Division after hammering Newcastle Town at the Aspire Stadium.
The visitors were in confident mood after last week’s 5-0 thumping of Redgate Clayton – despite being without regulars Lee Bagley and Matty Redshaw, who were both carrying knocks.
Chris Richards, Alex Woods and James Curley all returned to the starting line up as Town looked to extend their advantage over Ball Haye Green as well as keep alive their slim title hopes, which would cap off an outstanding promotion season.
The atmosphere in the Lyme Valley is rarely one conducive to high tempo football and Saturday was no different, with both sides starting slowly – but the visitors always looked in control.
Chances came and went before Curley opened the scoring with a fine back post header after good work from Harry Price on 32 minutes.
And the young full-back grabbed his first of the season just before the interval when he crashed home Liam Sowter’s cross from eight yards.
The half time whistle brought brief respite for the hosts, who were playing their last game of the season, and Uttoxeter showed their ruthless side as they clinically dispatched another five goals in the second period to bring up the 100 league goal mark for a second successive season.
The half-time withdrawal of skipper Martin Gadsby due to injury did little to effect the flow as Mark Hodson made a fine return to the side as his replacement.
But the second period was epitomised by some fine build up play and some expert finishing from leading scorer Curley, who notched another four to grab five goals for the first time in his Uttoxeter career.
His second was a poacher’s finish after robbing the keeper of the ball on 50 minutes before he lashed home his hat-trick after Tommy Smith was denied on the goal line.
Jack Holley got his name on the scoresheet (pictured) after fine work from playmaker Kyle Esplin before Curley completed the rout with another two fine finishes.
It was a fine performance from Town and a second successive clean sheet.
Tonight, Uttoxeter can guarantee themselves at least second place with three points at local rivals Hilton Athletic, before their penultimate league game, another trip to the Potteries on Saturday to face Abbey Hulton.
Infinity IT Man of the Match: James Curley – -goal haul for Town’s top striker
UTTOXETER: Langridge, Woods (Marshman 27), Price, Springall, Richards, Sowter (Bullock 79), Gadsby (Hodson 45), Esplin, Holley, Curley, Smith.