D’ton Three Tuns 0, Huntsman 4
Huntsman travelled to Darlington to face Three Crowns looking for their first victory of 2014 and to close the gap on the top of the table on Sunday.
After windy conditions put an end to their 100% record in there last league game there was a sense of déjà vu with the wind blowing down the pitch once again.
The manager was forced to make one change from cup defeat at Witton Park with influential winger Michael Sproates ruled out with a lung infection Andrew Richardson came into the team, there was also a positional switch with Mark Percival moving into the centre of defence and Steven Williams moving to right back.
Skipper Redpath won the toss and decided to defend the wind first, so Huntsman were under the cosh from the off.
Three Crowns started brightly but never really tested Dodds in the Huntsman goal. Huntsman started to get to grips with the conditions and tried to get the ball down without any clear cut chances.
The first chance of the game came in the 20 minute when Shaun Sproates raced clear of the defence and with only the keeper to beat he blased the ball over the trees and onto Whessoe Road narrowly missing the oncoming vehicles.
Luckily for Sproates the defender mauled him down late and the young referee gave a penalty.
Sproates wanted to make amends for his horrible miss and was desperate for the penalty but the duty went to the normal penalty taker Herd who saw his effort saved from the Three Crowns keeper in his gardening gloves!
The penalty miss didn’t stop the Huntsman and five minutes later they took the lead, Herd delivered a driven corner to the near post which Musgrave bundled goalwards before being poked home by Andrew Richardson for his 2nd goal of the season.
The rest of the half was Three Crowns who best efforts came from corners. Firstly Dodds saved with his face via the crossbar from close range and secondly Bry Durr cleared off the line as the half time whistle went.
The half-time message was positive after a resolute first half they knew they could take the game to the Three Crowns.
The second half almost saw the Huntsman score after 10 seconds when Jamie Herd fired just wide from a tight position. Next skipper Lee Redpath went close firing high from close range.
On 55 minutes Dave Neale smashed home an absolute thronker from 25 yards which the goalkeeper just waved at. Things got even better five minutes later when they went 3-0 up, Bry Durr delivered a delightful left wing free kick into the box which was met by Lee Redpath who directed his header into the top corner his first Huntsman goal which rounded off his man of the match performance.
The game petered out with the Huntsman manager seeing the opportunity to give some of the squad members a game to get them some minutes into their legs.
Opportunities still continued to come though with Jamie Herd missing three very good chances and Carl Bates firing wide.
The final goal of the game came in the 85th minute and what a goal it was, possibly goal of the season, the ball was delivered into the box which was cleared to the edge of the box which Dave Neale acrobatically met as he bicycled kicked into the top corner which surely will box off the goal of the season competition.
The game finished 4-0 and Huntsman are now three points off the leaders with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
Next up the Huntsman are on their travels again against Yates in the quarter final of the League Cup – the beginning of a big four weeks.