Shilbottle Reserves...1 Red Row...8
Sportsworld North Northumberland League, Division Two
RED Row continued their unbeaten start to the season with an emphatic away victory against Shilbottle Reserves.
The scoring was opened after 10 minutes when the in-form Darren Smith slotted home inside the box with a typical poacher’s finish. He almost got a second moments later but his chip struck the bar before Sean Palmer also hit the bar with a powerful effort.
Red Row gathered momentum and grabbed a second goal midway through the first half as quick passing from Alex Potts, Robert Baker and Darren Smith carved open Shilbottle’s defence before Potts drilled it in, rounding off a superb team move.
Kevin Bell picked up his game and his running was causing havoc for the home side’s defence.
He was almost rewarded with a goal but the Shilbottle centre-half made an excellent last-ditch tackle after Bell had gone around keeper Dane Dawson.
Another darting run from Bell ended with him being fouled in the box and Robert Baker converting the resulting penalty to make it 3-0.
Potts grabbed his second soon after when Bell was again involved playing him in with a cheeky back-heel before Baker also doubled up, finishing coolly when one-on-one with Dawson to make it 5-0 at half-time.
Red Row came storming out of the blocks in the second half and Darren Smith scored his second of the game after only 30 seconds of the restart with another good finish.
The outstanding Sean Palmer was then again unlucky not to score as he struck the post from the edge of the box. A Red Row corner allowed stand-in captain Jordan Giles to lash home at the back-post, taking the scoring to 7-0 before a lapse in concentration from the largely untested Red Row keeper Mavin let the Shilbottle forward in to slot home to grab a consolation goal.
Red Row finished with a flourish and Darren Smith scored from close range to score his second consecutive hat-trick and take his tally to an impressive eight goals from the first four games.
Red Row squad: M Mavin, D Palmer, M Straker, J Giles, J Gray, M Nixon, S Palmer, R Baker, A Potts, K Bell, D Smith, J Charlton, P Smith, M Smith. Match ball sponsor: John Barclay. HFC Pizza’s man-of-the-match: Robert Baker.