Exley hits hat-trick as Town tame Hodgsons

More pictures and boss Derek Exley's column in Thursday's Scarborough News
More pictures and boss Derek Exley's column in Thursday's Scarborough News

A hat-trick from Sean Exley inspired Scarborough Town to a 7-2 home win against their Beverley-based Humber Premier division opponents Hodgsons FC.

Town welcomed back Neil Thomas and Martin Cooper, and Gary Thomas was on the bench after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Town began on the front foot and took the lead after only three minutes following a foul on Ben Luntley.

Exley took the free-kick 20 yards out and powered a shot straight into the net to open the scoring.

On six minutes Town piled players forward for a corner which was headed back by Josh Clayton for Baz Gill to skilfully nod a back-header into the net to make it 2-0.

Hodgsons’ first attack was prompted by Tom Davies who sent Jordan Dexter away, only to be thwarted by the tigerish Tony Pickles.

Exley was close to another goal when a low shot brought a super save from Hodgsons keeper Dominic McMahon who tipped the ball onto the post.

Neil Thomas, playing in an advanced midfield position, then picked up a loose ball and connected sweetly but saw his effort scream over the crossbar.

Town were not to be denied a third goal though, and on 17 minutes good approach work from Martin Cooper and Jamie Bradshaw gave Luntley the opportunity for a low shot which the diving McMahon would have been disappointed not to have fended away.

Exley’s close control and unpredictable turns were proving too much for the overworked Hodgsons defence, and his cross from the right wing was met by a stretching Luntley but the ball went the wrong side of the post.

Then, in a totally different style of attack, Exley anticipated a long ball and hit a powerful cross-shot which beat the keeper but also went narrowly wide. Cooper then hit a strong effort which took a deflection and went wide much to McMahon’s relief.

On 35 minutes Hodgsons had their first real sight of goal, and a magnificent rising cross-shot from Justin Mason arrowed into the Town net to bring the score back to 3-1.

Hodgsons’ Dan Earle also drew a save from Town keeper Rob Clark before normal service was resumed, with Town piling on the pressure and Jamie Bradshaw unlucky not to find the target after a mazy run.

The second half began with a reward for the sheer persistence of Luntley, blocking a clearance and chasing down a defender to score from close range to put Town 4-1 up.

Town’s appetite for goals was still unsated, and a long throw from Ricky Nock led to a goalmouth scramble with Exley slamming the ball into the net from close-range for Town’s fifth.

On 73 minutes an accurate free-kick from Bradshaw was guided home by Exley to complete a well-earned hat-trick.

With Town now 6-1 ahead a questionable penalty award gave Hodgsons the chance to pull one back, but Adam Foster’s effort from 12 yards was well saved by Clark low down to his left.

However the visitors hit the net after 80 minutes when a cross was flicked on for Dexter to finish well from close-range.

Hodgsons defender Dan Mackevych, already in the referee’s notebook, committed one foul too many and was sent from the field, leaving Town the opportunity to attack even more, with a Gary Thomas header just wide and a Cooper 25-yarder flashing just over the top of the goal.

Luntley and Bradshaw then combined well down the left wing to create a chance for youngster Shane Holt to score from close range.

There was still time for Cooper to draw a good save from McMahon and for Jon Manson to try his luck from long-range, but the score remained at 7-2 which was an accurate reflection of the game.

Town: Clark, Nock, Gill, Pickles (Manson 52), Clayton, Bradshaw, N Thomas, Cooper, A Thomas (G Thomas 67), Exley (Holt 73), Luntley