McCann hat-trick as Rothbury start 2020 with win
FELLING MAGPIES 2ROTHBURY 4Gareth McCann netted a hat-trick as an unfamiliar-looking Rothbury side climbed into the top half of the Alliance Division 1 table.
The former Felton ace rolled in his first in the 15th minute, hammered in number two five minutes after the break and completed his treble with ten minutes of the match remaining.
While the performance wasn’t as free-flowing as the team is capable of producing, Reds boss Dan Herron was happy to get the three points on the board and delighted with the finishing of his strikers – especially McCann, who has been subjected to some jokey dressing room banter about being on a self-imposed ‘Winter break.’
The Coquetdale outfit were short on numbers and manager Herron had to pull on his boots for a first run-out in 18 months, while also calling up the services of some squad players.
Hard-working man-of-the-match Joel Laviers released Chrissy Coe for the opener in the 10th minute, the striker cutting in from the right to unleash a high drive into the roof of the net.
“We were a little rusty to start but created enough chances to be fair,” said Herron.
“It was a very, very scrappy game though. We bumped big Joel into midfield and he was immense, until his legs died after about 60 minutes - all that Christmas turkey!”
Laviers rose to power a header forward five minutes later and McCann was on it in a flash, coolly rounding the keeper and sliding his shot home.
The Mags pulled one back in the 32nd minute as Michael Mains reacted quickest to a bouncing ball in midfield and hit a curling 20-yarder that the diving Paul Appleby got a hand to, but couldn’t keep out.
Laviers combined with Greg Woodburn down the left as Rothbury added their third just after the interval, the tricky Woodburn whipping over a centre that McCann gleefully smashed home from close range.
Mark Burns drilled a snapshot in from 25 yards to keep Felling in the game in the 75thminute but the points were secured when hot-shot McCann took full advantage of a mix-up at the back to cut inside his marker and claim the match-ball.
On Saturday (January 11) Rothbury make the trip to face Wallsend Boys Club.