The Lockmen were punished for a sloppy defensive performance as Gornal climbed above them with this win.
The Lockmen started brightly with Leon Weller firing a yard off target on 70 seconds. On two minutes Matt Dorgan won a header which almost fell for Jon Ashfall to shoot, but a corner was the result. Gornal attacked themselves after three minutes only for Stuart Hillman to bobble an effort well wide. In The Peacock’s next attack Joel Fullwood set up a shooting chance but his effort was well wide. Play returned to the other end two minutes later with Chris Milliard producing a weighted cross for Dorgan to head back across goal, unfortunately the resulting shot was blocked then cleared. Athletic poured forward on 12 minutes when the ball was played through to Geoff Hill, again the effort was miscued away from goal. However, their radar was on in the next attack a minute later. From the goal-kick, Ben Holden badly scuffed his kick and it was headed back to the edge of the box where Hillman easily lobbed the keeper to open the scoring. Liam Hillman then fired wide for the hosts in the next attack after a foul. The Lockmen then won two free-kicks in quick succession, the first from on the half-way line taken by Milliard, produced a second foul on the edge of the box. Milliard took this one as well but it hit the end of the wall to produce a scramble whereby two efforts were blocked before the danger was cleared. Hillman again broke on 18 minutes and again fired wide before home keeper Rich Kennedy was forced into grabbing the ball on the line from Ashfall’s header. Kennedy then saved well from Dorgan as the pressure was increased on the home defence. Mikey Robertson’s free-kick was then headed behind for a corner, which almost brought a goal as the kick was cleared off the line from a defender and The Reds were then unlucky to see Leon Weller have two efforts blocked from the ensuing melee. Back came the home side and in their next attack on 31 minutes Hillman forced a good low save from Holden. The Lockmen had another free-kick in a dangerous position on 40 minutes before Weller saw two more efforts blocked before the danger was averted. Hickman then forced another save from Holden three minutes before the break before bang on 45 minutes Graham Ashton produced a poor ball back towards his own goal. The initial effort was well blocked by Holden but the ball rebounded kindly to Hickman in front of an open goal and he rolled home.
The home side again broke clear on 47 minutes as they all too easily sliced a way through the visitor’s defence. Luckily an off-side flag was raised, saving the embarrassment of seeing another bad miss from Hickman as he completely fluffed his shot. The Lockmen won and wasted a corner on 53 minutes and Kieron Robinson produced a good shot which flew at Kennedy six minutes later. Hillman then produced a good header which hit the crossbar, the rebound again fell kindly for The Peacocks and again Hill ballooned horribly over the target. The Lockmen won a free-kick on 65 minutes which was delayed in the taking until the referee was finally happy it was on exactly the right spot. The kick was swung into the box by Robertson and then half cleared out to a waiting Lyndon Weller. He waited for the ball to drop before hitting a perfect first-time volley which flew up over two defenders and dropping perfectly under the bar on 66 minutes. However, on 69 minutes the two goal cushion was restored when a quick break and cross from the right found an unmarked Hillman to net. It was four on 73 minutes as Reds sub Shaquille Oligitere made a nuisance of himself in the box but failed to get a strike on goal, the ball was hammered up field quickly and Hill broke clear and slid his shot across the exposed Holden and into the far corner. The home side comfortably saw out the last quarter of an hour with no alarms whilst looking to net again on the break but this was not to be.