MANAGER Mark Grimley hailed Wednesday night’s 7-0 demolition of AFC Leek Town as a “nigh on perfect away performance”.
Matt Redshaw struck four times in a ruthless destruction of a talented Leek outfit.
Grinley said: “We passed the ball extremely well. We were compact. Our shape was excellent.
“Going forward the cogs turned in the right direction. We were excellent.
“Matt Redshaw was phenomenal. He could have had a few more as well. On a whole we were fantastic.”
Town welcomed skipper Martin Gadsby and defender James McCarron back into the squad, but were without Tommy Smith, James Curley, Jack Holley and Alex Woods.
Gadsby was pushed into a forward role flanked by Matty Redshaw and Rob Collins.
The first chance came Town’s way within 45 seconds when Redshaw and Gadsby combined, with the captain heading Redshaw’s excellent cross a foot over the bar from eight yards.
It was a sign of things to come and the opener arrived on eight minutes. Alex Langridge, who has been in fine form, cleared the ball to Gadsby who laid the ball off to Redshaw 30 yards out.
The diminutive front man drove forward before curling a sensational effort into the top corner for a superb opener.
It was the same combination who set up number two on 15 minutes. Gadsby turned his man before slipping the ball through for the free-running Redshaw and the striker again made no mistake, curling the ball past the onrushing Leek keeper.
The third almost arrived on the half hour when Redshaw clipped the ball into Gadsby, who in turn back-heeled the back into the youngster’s path, only for Redshaw to see his fizzing drive well fielded by the Leek keeper.
The hosts’ number one was not as effective when called upon from a similar distance on 36 minutes.
Chris Richards bombed into the last third before unleashing a crisp low shot which flew underneath the keeper’s despairing dive.
There was time for Redshaw to complete a superb first-half performance with his hat-trick goal on 40 minutes.
After mesmerising Leek’s defender the striker drew the foul, and then stepped up to calmly roll home the resultant spot-kick.
It was arguably the best 45 minutes of football Uttoxeter had played since switching Saturday football 14 months ago, and the only question remaining was if they could produce another half of the same quality.
The answer was emphatically yes as the visitors ripped into the host once again. Redshaw grabbed his fourth goal of a memorable match on the hour.
Gadsby was again the provider, slipping a weighted ball inside a Leek defender for his strike partner to lift the ball brilliantly over the advancing keeper.
Langridge was rarely called upon but when he was the keeper’s handling and distribution was exemplary. A fine save from a 20-yard free-kick matched a similar stop in the first half.
Grimley and Andy O’Connor rang the changes as the game wore on. Ryan Metcalfe, Reece Brown and Dom Ward were introduced, and all three substitutes were soon into the flow of the game as Town sensed more goals.
Number six arrived courtesy of a fine Lee Bagley finish, before Richards capped another fine individual display when he cushioned Rob Collins’ cross into the far corner.
In a game which was always going to be a potential banana skin, Uttoxeter Town had produced a scintillating performance to regain top spot in the Staffs Senior League’s top flight – and if they can continue their recent run of form could be looking at staying there.
Next up for Town is another difficult match away at Audley on Saturday. Despite being without the unavailable Gadsby, the visitors will welcome back Smith, Holley and Woods for the trip.
Infinity IT Man of the Match; Matty Redshaw,
TOWN: Langridge, Price (Brown 70), McCarron, Bagley, Richards, Cockshutt (Metcalfe 72), Esplin, Sowter, Gadsby (Ward 77), Redshaw, Collins. Subs not used: Harvey, Richardson.