UTTOXETER Town cemented third place in the Staffordshire Senior League Premier Division table after producing an excellent 20-minute spell that edged them past a resilient Newcastle Town outfit.
Town were poor for the majority of Saturday’s game – they were sloppy in possession and profligate in attack – but turned the match on its head after 70 minutes with four excellent goals that brushed aside their Potteries counterparts.
Mark Grimley and Andy O’Connor replaced Jason Cockshutt and Ollie Crooks with Matty Redshaw and Tommy Smith in the only changes to the side who had thrashed Hilton a week ago.
But despite the attacking intent from the hosts they produced little of note in the early exchanges.
A stonewall penalty for handball was turned down and that was the closest the hosts came to goalmouth action in the early period.
Some long range efforts from Liam Sowter and a header over the bar from James Curley showed that Town’s possession was beginning to tell but they had to be grateful to Alex Langridge for a wonderful save on 25 minutes when he tipped the ball over the bar after a sweeping Newcastle counter-attack.
Uttoxeter’s poor start was compounded on the half-hour when skipper Martin Gadsby was replaced after suffering a groin injury and the game never really kicked into life for the remainder of the first half.
Another fine Langridge save kept the visitors at bay on the hour but they weren’t to be denied for long when the number nine turned sharply to force the ball under Langridge from 12 yards.
The hosts were stung into action and it was the catalyst they needed to improve and within six minutes they were level, Curley producing a sublime cross for Smith to head home powerfully from close range.
Stand-in captain Kyle Esplin then danced his way into the box before being hauled to the ground on 70 minutes and Jack Holley coolly slotted home the spot kick to give Town the advantage for the first time.
With the clock ticking on, Newcastle were clearly tired from their hard work in the first hour and two sumptuous efforts, first from Esplin and then Sowter, capped off a blistering spell of attacking football by Town.
Both players found space in midfield to drive forward and hit stunning efforts into the top left corner to delight the home support of 121.
There was still time for a Newcastle consolation on 87 minutes and had their striker not hit the bar when well-placed in injury time it may well have been a nervy last few moments for Uttoxeter.
However, they held on comfortably in the end to record their first back-to-back victories of the campaign.
The Town Electrical Distributors’ man of the match award went to the superb Smith, who gave the visiting back four a torrid time with his work rate.