Thomas treble sinks Merchant

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A NEIL Thomas hat-trick steered top-flight West Pier to a 6-3 win in the Senior Cup quarter-final at second division high-flyers Merchant.

Thomas handed Pier the lead early on with a fierce shot, but the home side levelled when Mark Vasey bundled the ball in from close range after a long throw.

The visitors regained the lead thanks to a powerful drive from Mikey Barker, and they then went 3-1 ahead when Tommy Barker charged down a clearance and lobbed over the Merchant keeper. Thomas volleyed in Pier’s fourth goal after the break, but Carl Townley responded for Merchant to make it 4-2.

Mikey Barker notched his second to increase Pier’s lead, but again Merchant hit back, this time Neil Fryirs firing home.

Striker Thomas completed his hat-trick with a thumping shot from the corner of the penalty area to seal the cup win.

Will Jenkinson earned the man-of-the-match award for his excellent work in the Pier midfield.