Our young guns produced a superb attacking display as they cruised to a magnificent 8-0 victory over Northampton Town in the FCYA (Midland Division) this afternoon.
Six different players were on the score-sheet in a performance which sent a clear message out to title-rivals Ilkeston, who remain four points clear at the top.
The Cobblers were reduced to 10 men on the quarter-hour mark when goalkeeper James Inwood deliberately handled outside the area, which led to a straight red card.
Matty Jones’ subsequent free-kick was parried by stand-in ‘keeper Tom Collins, but Jack Koczalski smashed the rebound into an empty net for his first goal of the campaign.
Jones claimed another assist when Charlie Brownlie made it 2-0 with a bullet-header on the half-hour mark, following a superb set-piece cross towards the back-post.
Dan Fletcher claimed the first of his two goals only moments before the half-time interval, when he capitalised on a poor back-pass and rounded the ‘keeper to slot home.
Substitute Kasey Hodge scored within only a few minutes of the re-start, when he brilliantly cut inside and trickled a low shot beneath the reach of the Cobblers’ custodian.
Liam Marsden (pictured) added his name to score-sheet prior to the hour mark, floating a brilliant right-wing cross into the top corner, to deservedly make it 5-0.
The goals continued and only a few minutes later, Conor Green combined with Hodge, whose simple low pass forward released an advancing Fletcher for an easy finish.
Substitute Luke Thomas added a seventh goal when he carefully planted a low shot into the bottom-right corner on 67 minutes, after the visitors were unable to clear their lines.
Marsden made it 8-0 with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining with a fantastic close-range volley, following Kyle Hempshall’s deep left-wing cross towards the back-post.
A delighted Academy Director John Ramshaw said afterwards: “You can only beat what’s infront of you and I thought the boys were thoroughly professional throughout the game, despite playing against 10 men for most of it.
“We moved the ball well and conducted ourselves in a very professional manner.”