Redgate Clayton 0 v 6 Uttoxeter Town
UTTOXETER Town turned in their best display of the season and continued their 100 per cent start to life in Staffordshire County Senior League Division One with a thrashing of third-placed Redgate Clayton.
Town boss Mark Grimley gave Jack Holley his first start of the season on the right of midfield and restored Lee Bagley to attack in place of young Tom Harvey as Town looked to leapfrog their hosts in the table.
Town soon began to move the ball around well and with the defence being marshalled expertly by the centre back pairing of Dom Ward and Jason Beardsley, it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken.
The opening goal came on 13 minutes from a familiar source.
Kyle Esplin won possession brilliantly on halfway before slipping a perfectly timed pass through to Bagley, who sprung the offside trap and rounded the onrushing keeper with ease to roll home his second of the season.
The perfect opportunity to double the lead arrived on 15 minutes when Bagley’s cross was handled but Beardsley, looking for his first senior goal, saw his spot kick clear the crossbar.
Town were not to be denied, however, and it was the combination of Esplin and Bagley who doubled the advantage on 19 minutes.
Esplin was unlucky not to get his own name on the scoresheet when he crashed a thunderous effort against the bar from 25 yards but Bagley finished superbly by heading the ball straight past the stranded keeper and into the top corner.
The third goal arrived on the half hour as Town moved through the gears.
Rob Collins’ pinpoint set piece from 40 yards was met by Martin Gadsby 14 yards out and the midfielder made no mistake, steering his header neatly into the far corner.
With half-time approaching Esplin was again involved and the game was effectively finished as a contest when the marauding midfielder was hacked down when clean through on goal.
The solitary covering defender was shown a straight red — and Holley curled the free kick brilliantly into the top corner.
Tommy Smith grabbed his customary goal on 42 minutes after another Esplin through ball gave the striker chance to make it five for the season from 16 yards.
The second half saw Redgate attack down the slope as they looked to grab a consolation and had it not been for a fine save from the excellent Alex Langridge the hosts may well have done just that.
However, it was Town who grabbed the final goal of the match as a fine move involving Bagley and Smith allowed the latter the space to smash home his second in clinical style.
Town now look forward to meeting champions Hanley Town reserves at Oldfields, kick-off 2.30pm, and are hoping to attract a sizeable crowd to their first Saturday home fixture.
GOALS: Bagley 13, 19 Gadsby 30, Holley 39, Smith 42, 64.
TOWN: Langridge, Thompson, Ede (Farrelly 72), Beardsley, Ward, Holley, Gadsby, Esplin, Collins (Poxon 72), Bagley, Smith (Harvey 72). Subs not used: Metcalfe, Jenkins, Dacre, Richards.
INFINITY IT MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Jack Holley — superb touches throughout and a fine goal.