Spennymoor Town consolidated their place in the top five when they won 4-2 at Kendal Town on Tuesday night, thanks to a first half hat trick by Michael Roberts.
Moors took a stranglehold on the game in the first 12 minutes. Roberts scored the first goal when Liam Henderson turned well in the box and laid the ball off for him to fire home.
He nearly scored another almost immediately, but his shot went wide, but after 12 minutes it was 2-0, when Stephen Capper crossed from the left for Roberts to head past the keeper.
Roberts completed his hat trick on 34 minutes, this time the ball came in from the opposite flank from Kallum Griffiths, and Roberts once again headed in at the far post, for his 17 th goal of the season. Moors also went close again when new signing Robert Briggs played a one-two but fired just past the upright.
Jordan Connerton pulled a goal back on 37 minutes for Kendal with a 25 yarder that went in off the bar, and then George Mason pulled a second back courtesy of a deflected free kick a minute before half time.
Kendal started the second half as they left the first on the front foot, but they couldn’t force their way through a resolute Moors rear guard. Moors had loud penalty claims for handball on the line turned down midway through the second half when Joe Tait had a shot cleared off the line by a Kendal defender, and Moors keeper Adam McHugh made a superb block to deny Kendal from levelling.
The game turned when Lewis Hawkins had a shot saved by the home keeper, and moments later, the referee awarded a spot kick when Roberts was pushed in the area, and Joe Tait, who missed a penalty against Radcliffe on Saturday, scored from the spot to hand Moors their fifth straight win in the league for the first time this season.
1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds, 5 Tait, 6 Capper, 7 Hawkins, 8 Henry, 9 Henderson (sub Ward), 10 Roberts (sub Cogdon), 11 Briggs.
Subs not used: Fisher, Groves, Peacock.
Defenders Joe Tait and Paul Johnson scored the goals to send Spennymoor Town back into the play-offs with a narrow, but deserved, victory over rejuvenated Radcliffe Borough at the Brewery Field to stretch their winning run to four games.
The visitors came into the game with one win in their last six however with the appointment of new manager Danny Johnson earlier in the week and six new signings later, Boro made a game of it and almost snatched a point with a battling performance.
Vinnie Mukendi went close in the early stages for Boro after cutting inside he whistled a shot past the far post.
Moors soon got into the stride when Stephen Capper crossed for on loan Hartlepool United schemer Lewis Hawkins to bring the ball down but he fired over from 16 yds.
Michael Roberts then won Moors a penalty in the 29 th minute when he was twice fouled inside the area, but the normally cool kick taker Tait saw his spot kick pushed around the post by Boro keeper Chris Cheetham.
From the resulting corner by Capper, Tait made amends when he got around the back to nod home the opener.
Moments later and it was nearly two when Shane Henry had a free kick blocked and the ball rebounded to Roberts who watched his shot fingertipped over by Cheetham.
Johnson had a diving header that flased wide of the far post, then a superb run by Hawkins saw him set up Griffiths who stuck a first time shot wide.
Moors went close yet again in the early stages of the second half as Liam Henderson met Capper’s cross but his diving header went wide.
Hawkins almost had a dream debut when he had a rasping shot deflected past the post by a Boro defender.
Moors then had a scare when Mukendi headed home a cross from the left but his celebrations were cut short for a foul on Johnson.
The home side hadn’t learnt their lesson as Boro got level soon after when Mukendi got to the by line and pulled the ball back for sub Matthew Davies who turned the ball past Adam McHugh from close range.
It could have gone either way after this but Moors regrouped and took the game to Boro.
They got their just rewards in the 76 th minute when Capper’s corner was met by Johnson who lost his marker and thumped a header into the back of the net. Unfortunately for the goalscorer he suffered an ankle injury in the euphoria and hobbled off meaning Lewis Dodds joined Tait at the heart of defence for the final ten minutes.
Boro threw the kitchen sink at Spennymoor and almost pulled off a late goal through Bevan Burley but Tait managed to get a brave block and divert the ball away.
Moors could have made the game more safe when Roberts broke away and burst into the box but he fired wide.
The win sees Moors move into fifth place with games in hand over all the teams above them.
1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Johnson(Sub McReady), 4 Dodds, 5 Tait, 6 Capper, 7 Hawkins, 8 Henry, 9 Henderson(Sub Ward), 10 Roberts, 11 Briggs(Sub Stephenson)
Sub Not Used: Kenney.
Spennymoor Town progressed into the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup following a comfortable 4-0 win over Washington at The Brewery Field on Tuesday night.
Moors fielded a strong side in what was their first game for over two weeks and after Adam McHugh got down low to save a shot from Chris Winn in the early exchanges, Michael Roberts fired Moors into the lead in the 9 th minute.
Joe Tait started the move which saw Kallum Griffiths cross low for Shane Henry to see a shot blocked by keeper Neal Atkinson only for the ball to rebound to Roberts who fired home from the edge of the area. It was almost two moments later when Gavin Cogdon beat the offside trap and he raced into the area to unselfishly set up Liam Henderson but the Moors top scorer fired straight at defender Anthony Callaghan on the line.
Henderson then turned provider to the advancing Henry but he could only fire tamely at Atkinson, before the Moors schemer then blasted over following good work by Roberts on the right.
Moors doubled their lead with the goal of the night when a superb cross from Griffiths picked out Lewis Dodds who struck a first time volley over Atkinson into the net from 18 yds. Skipper Chris Mason then overlapped and got in behind but his cross cum shot flashed past the far post.
It was far too easy for Moors who looked sharp and passed the ball around with plenty of purpose.
Cogdon then got on the end of a Dodds pass to slot home Spennymoor’s third just past the half hour mark and just before half time Paul Johnson had a shot on the turn saved at the second attempt by Atkinson.
The second half continued with Moors well in the driving seat as Henry tried a long range shot which Atkinson pushed around the post at full stretch. Washington tried to make the score line more respectable when a good run by Michael Coghlan ended with a shot that took a deflection but Moors keeper McHugh was well positioned to save. Henderson then tried his luck with a 25yd volley that beat Atkinson all ends up but the ball crashed off the woodwork, before sub John McReady stretched Moors’ lead in the 73rd minute with a fine solo goal that ended with a low shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.
At the other end, Coghlan again went close for Washington with a dipping free kick that McHugh had to tip over, and from the resulting corner Richard Paxton had a shot blocked by a Moors defender on the line. McHugh preserved the clean sheet that sealed Spennymoor’s passage into the last four with another save from James Fairley in the closing moments.
1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds (sub Kenney), 5 Johnson, 6 Tait, 7 Stephenson (sub Capper), 8 Henry, 9 Henderson, 10 Roberts (sub McReady), 11 Cogdon.
Subs Not Used:
Referee: Mr Shaun Hudson (Durham FA)
Spennymoor never recovered from a three goal blast in the first 16 minutes as they went out of the Doodson Sport Cup at Harrogate RA on Monday night.
Harrogate took the lead against a second string Moors on 6 minutes when Jesus Martin-Farina finished off a good move, and then he scored the second four minutes later after a corner was headed down to him. And he completed his hat trick by the 16th minute from the spot after he had been brought down by Reece Kenney. Worse was to follow for Moors just on halftime when Rob Youhill ran from the halfway line and beat David Atkinson.
Moors improved in the second half, after Michael Roberts beat four men and hit the bar; they pulled a goal back on 71 minutes through from sub Reece Brown.
However, hopes of a comeback were dashed when Dan Hickey found plenty of space to score the fifth with seven minutes left.
1 Atkinson, 2 Groves(c), 3 Gibson, 4 G Brown, 5 Clarke, 6 Willis, 7 Lynch (sub R Brown), 8 Kenney, 9 Ward, 10 Roberts, 11 McReady.
Sub not used: McKenna.