12:59 Tuesday 03 December 2013

Ward cracks hat-trick in rout of sorry Eccleshall

Written bySPORTS REPORTER

UTTOXETER Town produced another commanding away display to brush past Eccleshall at Pershall Park and extend their unbeaten league run to 14 games a week ago.

Eccleshall were clearly intent on causing an upset in the early stages, some swift counter attacks, sharp movement and firm tackles gave the impression that Town were in for a tough night in South Staffordshire.

However, despite the possession the hosts never threatened Alex Langridge in the opening 10 minutes and Town soon began to find their feet and it was not long before the visitors had turned the tables and were in the ascendancy.

Collins made the breakthrough on the quarter-hour when he delivered a pinpoint free kick to the far post where commanding centre-half Nick Ward was on hand to glance home his first goal for the club and it was almost a carbon copy that doubled Town’s advantage on 20 minutes.

Collins again the provider and Ward again the beneficiary, this time the defender prodding the ball home from close range.

Uttoxeter were now well in control of the match, Kyle Esplin and Liam Sowter were dominating the midfield and it was only a matter of time before number three arrived as Eccleshall were being pulled apart.

Sowter won the ball on the centre circle and switched the play to Martin Gadsby. The skipper clipped the ball into the path of James Curley, who powered his way to goal before hammering a right-footed volley past the onrushing keeper.

Matty Redshaw, who had been at his best in the first half then nodded in number four, a Rob Collins corner found Gadsby who rattled the bar with a header, only for the diminutive front man to cushion home from close range.

Redshaw then skipped past three defenders before squaring to Gadsby six yards out, but the covering defender blocked the midfielder’s goalbound effort as Town looked rampant.

The ideal opportunity to make it five came with minutes of the first half remaining. Redshaw won and took a spot kick after mesmerising the Eccleshall back-line but the forward’s tame effort was well-saved.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first – Harry Price, Lee Bagley, Ward and Chris Richards were outstanding in defence with the home strikers rarely seeing the ball and the midfield and attack simply unplayable.

Ward completed his hat-trick from another set-piece on the hour, this time a handled backpass was teed up for the defender to ram home from eight yards.

Curley grabbed his second of the match when Collins burst through and set up the striker to neatly side step his marker and roll home expertly and Redshaw capped a fine day at the office when he cushioned home another towering Gadsby header from Collins out-swinging corner.

Infinity IT Man of the Match: Nick Ward – a superb hat-trick for the centre back.

TOWN: Langridge, Price, Bagley, Ward, Richards, Sowter, Gadsby, Esplin, Collins (Crooks 68), Curley (Richardson 74), Redshaw (Lamburn 74).

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