Isaac Walker claimed a hat-trick off the bench as the Steelmen sealed an emphatic home win over Crook Town.
The visitors gave the home crowd an early scare, producing a quick double to overturn Donny Holdsworth’s headed opener, before a rare goal for Max McGuckin levelled the affair.
First half introduction Isaac Walker secured a brace before the interval to quell the nerves and give Redcar a comfortable advantage, netting a third minutes from time to top off an excellent performance on a gusty afternoon.
Steve Connolly made a significant change to his forward line after a defeat last time out, fielding Elliot Duff out wide in place of Walker, whilst Matty Garbutt returned to the side in a fall-back role.
Redcar started the contest firmly on the front foot, owing to Donny Holdsworth’s energy and intensity. The midfielder twice went close in the opening 20 minutes, the most notable effort a narrowly wayward strike after producing a deft touch.
After a relatively quiet opening 25 minutes, Donny finally broke the deadlock, meeting Matty Garbutt’s excellent cross with a plush header, dipping into the top corner, to give Athletic the lead.
Crook provided an instant response to going behind, pulling level within a minute after Joe Lamb’s strike from distance, before taking the advantage from the spot on the half hour mark through captain Craig Moody.
A rare goal for Max McGuckin brought the two sides level again soon after, the defender firing into the roof of the net after Makepeace had clawed Guru’s headed effort straight into his path.
This time it was Redcar’s turn to secure a quick double, with Isaac Walker striding into the path of Holdsworth’s delicate lay off, sweeping the ball in at the near post to restore his side’s advantage.
Donny’s excellent first half showing wasn’t done yet, as the in-form number 10 drew a foul in the area to earn his side a penalty, which Walker calmly dispatched down the middle to earn himself a brace.
After a rollercoaster first half left Redcar two goals to the good, the second proved a different game entirely, with Connolly’s side in complete control, looking calm and composed in and out of possession.
Chances proved at a premium for both sides at this stage, with Town’s only clear-cut opportunity a dipping volley from Moody, travelling safely over Norton’s crossbar.
With just 7 minutes left on the clock, Redcar finally provided some second half excitement with goal number five, as substitute Connor Smith took the ball around a forlorn Makepeace, squaring unselfishly for Walker to wrap up his hat-trick, rolling into an unguarded net.
The victory proved the team’s character after an inconsistent start to the season and a disappointing home defeat in the previous match, with Connolly’s side finally developing a clinical edge, dismantling strong opposition to secure a valuable three points.
Redcar Goal Scorers: Brandon Holdsworth (25) Max McGuckin (36) Isaac Walker (38, 45+4 pen, 83).
|01/10/2022||3:00 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|