The Lockmen produced a dominant display to down Welington Amateurs and climb above them in the table.
They had the best possible start when they opened the scoring on 52 seconds without an opponent touching the ball. From kick-off the ball was moved back and left and right, the initial cross coming down the left hand side before the ball was crossed back in by Chadd Birch for the returning Matt Dorgan to climb highest and head home on 52 seconds. The home side were level inside five minutes as a disputed free-kick was taken quickly out wide and when the ball came into the area, Ben Gutteridge was in plenty of space to fire home. Dorgan was close to regaining the lead on eight minutes when his instinctive flick from Mark Habbershaw’s knock down flew inches over. Both strikers went close again before The Lockmen regained the lead on 21 minutes. A perfectly weighted ball between the centre-halves set Chadd Birch free and he rarely misses a one-on-one with the keeper, sliding the ball right into the corner of the net. The home side were offering little in the way of threat but having plenty of possession, but every time they lost the ball it was moved to the other end and a chance was fashioned. None more so than on 38 minutes when a quick break from Jamal Pinnock and Remie Birch set up Habbershaw and his fierce effort was brilliantly turned around the post by the right hand of Ben Czerepaninec. However, right on half-time another Chadd Birch cross was again headed home by Dorgan.
The Lockmen showed some brilliant game management after the break, allowing their hosts plenty of possession, but little more than half chances or the occasional free-kick as they literally won every tackle that mattered around the edge of the box. The home side saw one free-kick fly well over and another flew straight at Lockmen keeper Chris Bourne whilst at the other end there were several near things. most notably a curling effort from Curtis Ellis which was inches over and on 66 minutes when a free-kick from half-way almost resulted in Chadd Birch getting the ball between last defender and keeper, who had to grab smartly. Habbershaw also saw a stunning 25 yard free-kick touched wide for a corner. The Amateurs finally conceded a fourth on 80 minutes when a fierce goalbound Habbershaw shot was saved by defender Gutteridge on the line. he was dismissed and as the clock reached 80 minutes, Habbershaw fired home from the spot.
Ironically, the ten men had nearly all the possession in the last ten minutes but The Lockmen defended superbly, stayed between man and goal at all times, and simply waited for possession to be gifted back to them.
Match report by Chris Burton.