Thompson nets a hat-trick as Rothbury close gap on leaders

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Seghill 1-5 Rothbury

Hot-shot Daniel Thompson smashed in a treble as Rothbury closed the gap on leaders Whitley Bay Sporting to a point with a game in hand.

The former Felton and Wallington striker – who lifted the NFA Minor Cup with the Greens – was obviously pleased with his hat-trick, but berated himself for not making more of his opportunities so far this season.

Considering he’s already on nine (it would have been 11 but for a result being chalked off), then it just shows the high standards that the Reds number nine sets himself in the game.

“I’m frustrated with my personal form, to say the least,” admitted Thompson.

“The lads are playing excellently and I’m just not finishing enough of my chances. I’m known to start seasons slowly though, so I’m sure the goals will start flowing.”

Thompa, as he’s known to his team-mates, was sent sprawling in the box early on and the cool Tony Brown stepped up to dispatch the resultant penalty. The spirit in the Reds side is such that Thompson even joked that he was secretly gutted to see it hit the back of the net.

“Tony stepped up, as reliable as ever, and buried it. To be honest, I’m still raging the lads took me off penalties ever since I missed two in a row so I was praying he missed!” Thompson struck himself twice before the break with what he described as ‘classic poacher goals, ‘bread and butter stuff’ you might say.’

The striker was full of praise for the way that Seghill hit back at the turnaround and felt that the Coquetdalers did well to soak up a spell of pressure after Maneesh Rai, who he felt was the host’s man of the match, pulled one back with some lovely skill. But when Brown whipped over a pin-point corner, Sam Proudlock towered to power home a bullet header for the fourth.

“At 4-1 and the game was pretty much done and dusted. All the possession was for Rothbury and I grabbed a late fifth goal. We had a few other chances of note - a Michael Old one on one which smashed off the bar, and according to spectators crossed the line by a yard or so but wasn’t given, and another one on one from myself which I decided to send over to Seaton Deleval – due to the bobbly pitch of course!” he laughed.

“We completely dominated the first half with some really nice football. We weren’t at our best but really as the weeks go on we are showing great depth and quality in our squad. I don’t think we’ve fielded the same 11 once this season yet but it hasn’t proved an issue. Regular first teamers Kyle Smith and Joel Laviers were allowed some time off this week due to fatigue and Lawsy (Alex Law) was away, but none of this caused a problem and that shows great depth in the squad. It really helped our cause that Felton FC were caught up in financial difficulties in the summer and had to fold as we’ve been able to pick up some big names to call on, such as the legendary Ross ‘Tuna’ Jackson, who made an appearance yesterday afternoon and the moment he came on the game’s tempo increased.”

Attacking midfielder Greg Woodburn also earned the plaudits for a smart display of skill and close ball control on a pitch described by joint player boss Dan Herron as ‘bobbly’ and in ‘difficult conditions.’

Woodburn felt that Rothbury had approached the fixture in the right frame of mind and applied it when they crossed the white lines.

“We came into the game knowing we were strong favourites, with our winning streak and Seghill’s relatively poor record in the league this year, but we couldn’t afford to be complacent as it’s almost cost us in the past,” he said.

“The first half was probably one of the most dominant halves we’ve had this season where they hardly got a touch of the ball and we totally controlled the game.”

“In the second half I think we switched off a bit with the tempo of the game dropping and they started to get back into the match - but we dug in and kept playing the football that we play which makes us almost unbeatable and got the result. The lads deserved it.”

Thompson delivered the final word on the emphatic victory by saying how much he is enjoying his time at Armstrong Park and being a major part of the club’s step up into Northern Alliance football.

“Ever since I joined the club just under a year ago I’ve loved it. It’s a remarkable place with a great fan base who’ve made me feel very at home. Not many people know but I actually went to school up in Rothbury so it’s wonderful to return to my roots,” he admitted.

“After club captain Tom Macpherson persuaded me to sign back in late October last year, I played my first game against Craster and from the get go I saw the quality of the team and knew there was something special about to happen. We had a good season last year and then some tremendous signings were made over the summer so to be honest I expected nothing less than where we currently are.”

Displaying the camaraderie of the local non-league scene, he also praised the side’s opponents and said: “I’d like to thank Seghill for a good game. They played some quality football and have great facilities.”

NEWCASTLE BLUE STAR 2

ALNWICK TOWN 0

Alnwick slipped to a 2-0 away defeat when they travelled to Newcastle to take on Blue Star in the Northern Alliance Premier Division on Saturday.

Town got off to the worst possible start and found themselves a goal behind after only three minutes when Richard Coulson ran on to a through ball, cut inside and netted for the home side.

And it got even worse when Blue Star doubled their advantage after 17 minutes, courtesy of a headed goal at the back post from Martin Soulsby.

The home side then had a glorious opportunity to increase their lead further when they were awarded a penalty after 42 minutes when Soulsby was brought down in the area. The striker stepped up to take the kick himself but Town keeper Brooks pulled off a good save.

At 2-0 down at half-time, Alnwick were not completely out of the game, but they struggled to get flowing game moving and as a result play in the second half became fragmented with neither side able to threaten the oppositioin goal.