Red Row Welfare...10 Hedgeley Rovers...0
North Northumberland League, Division Two
RED Row warmed up for their Bilclough Cup final with a comprehensive victory over Hedgeley in their final home game of the season on Saturday.
It was one-way traffic from the first whistle and it was no surprise when Darren Smith finished well to open the scoring, he soon doubled his money after getting on the end of a superb Kevin Bell overhead kick.
Bell turned from provider to scorer with a close-range finish before firing home to grab his second after excellent work down the left-hand side from Jaden Gray.
Smith grabbed his hat-trick heading home from a Gary Taylor cross, a landmark goal as he took his tally to 40 for the season.
Just before half-time, Jordan Giles finished smartly on the edge of the box to make it 6-0 at the interval. The second half started scrappily with neither side really looking interested before Darren Smith grabbed his fourth of the game after poking home.
Karl Taylor was introduced on the hour-mark and made an immediate impact heading home with his first touch after Paul Smith’s free-kick cannoned back off the post.
Mick Straker made it 9-0 with a tap-in from a corner before Taylor notched his second to take Red Row into double figures.
Red Row: M Mavin, M Smith, M Straker, J Gray, D Palmer, P Smith, J Giles, S Palmer, G Taylor, K Bell, D Smith, J Charlton, K Taylor, S Anderson. HFC Pizza man-of-the-match: Paul Smith.
Amble St Cuthbert...0 Red Row Welfare...26
RED Row wrapped up the league title in emphatic fashion, going goal crazy against bottom side Amble St Cuthbert, who again showed great spirit by not giving up despite having their backs to the wall for most of the game.
They wasted no time in exploding into a big early lead with goals from player-manager David Whenray, Kevin Bell, Matty Graham, Jaden Gray, Jordan Giles and Gary Taylor, who got on the scoresheet for the first time since his arrival at the club.
Graham and Whenray both doubled their tallies with fine individual efforts before leading scorer Darren Smith got in on the act netting a quick-fire hat-trick.
Karl Taylor and Sean Anderson also scored before Kevin Bell notched his second to leave the score at 14-0 to Red Row. Despite this one-sided first half, Junior Hallal went agonisingly close to grabbing a goal for the plucky home side, forcing a brilliant save from John Charlton in the Red Row goal.
The second half carried on in the same vein. Paul Smith was introduced and showed his class immediately with a brace, the first a simple tap-in but the second was a lovely curling left-foot effort.
Paul’s older brother Darren also continued to fill his boots with two more fine strikes to take his evening’s work to five goals before strike partner Kevin Bell followed suit by netting twice more to make it four goals on the night for him, a figure repeated by Whenray, who showed his marker a clean pair of heels before expertly slotting home for his hat-trick then moments later popped up at the back post to tap in.
Then Matty Graham stole the show with four second-half goals to earn himself a double hat-trick.
As the referee blew the final whistle the news began to filter through that North Sunderland had defeated Newbiggin confirming Red Row as the North Northumberland Division Two champions.
Red Row: J Charlton, J Giles, M Smith, J Gray, S Anderson, K Taylor, M Graham, G Taylor, D Whenray, D Smith, K Bell, D Palmer, M Straker, P Smith. HFC Pizza man-of-the-match: Matthew Graham.