By Daz Stanger
GREAT HORWOOD RESERVES 1
Armitage (pen) 50
STOKE HAMMOND 7
Howard 27, 31,38, 40,46,85
GREAT HORWOOD RESERVES
Broom, Masala, Slade, McStraw(capt), Katkov, Bingham, Rudd, Armitage, Sirett, Calcroft, Stint
Subs – Ellison, Trundle
Ray, Nenybard, Tonsett, Bull, Drake, Rossi(capt), Pattinson, Duckett, Howard, Read, How
Subs – Royburgh, Hughes, Duckett
Stoke Hammond’s Christopher Howard hit a wonderful double hat trick as Stoke Hammond cruised to a 7-1 victory over Great Horwood Reserves.
Great Horwood substitute Jack Trundle was kind enough to volunteer to referee the game as the appointed referee from the league failed to attend.
In sunny spring like conditions Howard could have given Stoke Hammond in as early as the fourth minute when a good long ball which beat the Horwood central defence saw Howard clean through on goal but his shot hit the post.
Darren Sirett had a couple of chances to give Horwood the lead, the first was a shot which was easily caught by the keeper James Ray after Roberto Masala’s long throw into the box. The second when Sirett headed the ball over the bar meeting a good cross into the area by Adam Armitage.
Michael Read had a couple of opportunities for Stoke Hammond but both efforts went wide of the post.
Read nearly turned to be provider of the opening goal when his superb pin point pass to Howard which split the Horwood defence in half however Howard’s shot went wide of the post.
However in the 27th minute the deadlock was finally broken in a similar circumstance when a long through ball up the field was not dealt with by the Horwood defence and found Howard who pounced on the opportunity and lobbed the ball over Mark Broom with a neat finish.
The lead gave Stoke Hammond more momentum and they looked more dangerous as they pressed forward.
Howard doubled the lead when he headed in from close range from Stuart How’s dangerous corner into the box. Horwood nearly got a goal back when Stoke Hammond’s Scott Tonsett nearly put the ball into his own net but fortunately James Ray was able to pull off a fine fingertip save past the post.
Adam Armitage also had a shot which went over the bar.
Michael Read and Christopher Howard were making life difficult for the Horwood defence and in the 38th minute Howard sealed his hat trick with a good finish following good play from Read.
How could have made it four but his effort was saved by Broom.
However Howard hit his and Stoke Hammond’s fourth when another long ball see Howard beat the offside trap and being clean through on goal, he fired his shot past Broom.
Howard nearly scored a fifth shortly before half time in the same situation but he shot wide of the post.
However in the second half Howard scored his fifth poking in from close range following good work from Kyle Rossi.
Great Horwood were able to pull a goal back when Darren Sirett was brought down by keeper James Ray when he clean through in the box. Adam Armitage fired in the resulting penalty past James Ray.
Adam Armitage had a couple of long range efforts which were saved by Ray.
Stoke Hammond were awarded a penalty shortly afterwards when Michael Read was fouled in the box. Stephen Pattinson scored the resulting spot kick to make it 6-1.
Darren Sirett had a goal ruled out for offside when he was able to score from close range after Conor Bingham’s effort hit the post.
Michael Read superb pass found Kyle Nenybard with a great burst of pace from left back but his shot was saved by Broom.
Howard nearly scored his sixth when Michael Hughes deep cross into the area was met by Howard but his shot was saved by Broom.
In the 85th minute following more good work from Michael Read his pass found Howard who fired his shot past Broom to score his double hat trick and Stoke Hammond’s seventh.