Seventh heaven for Heslerton hot-shots

James McLoughlin, no 16, in action for Heslerton
James McLoughlin, no 16, in action for Heslerton

Heslerton kick-started their season with a 7-1 win at Slingsby in the Gordon Harrison Memorial Trophy.

After the 2-0 midweek defeat at Kirkby, striker Paul Downes decided to quit Heslerton and return to Union Rovers. It certainly wasn’t bad news for the players though, as a number of them saw this as their chance to shine.

Heslerton came into the game without keeper Gareth Driver, Lee Clayton and Rory Darley but welcomed back Andy Sellers, Steve Parker and Ross Flinton to the squad.

Manager Dean Storry selected a 3-5-2 formation, with James Mcloughlin and Billy Bown sat in front of captain Simon Oxendale in heart of midfield. Dave Thompson, who played as a midfielder last season was handed a place up front to partner Parker.

The visitors took control from kick-off as, with only about 20 seconds on the clock, Thompson found himself one on one with a Slingsby centre-half and after calmly cutting inside the box, he drilled the ball beyond the keeper to make it 1-0.

Heslerton continued to press and had a lot of success down each wing, with Mikey Clarke and Sellers looking sharp and it wasn’t long however before it was 2-0. Tidy work between Oxendale, Mcloughlin and Bown through the middle of the park saw the ball eventually find Parker just inside the box and after a good first touch to set himself, he calmly lofted the ball over stranded home keeper Jonny Crowe for his first goal and Heslerton’s second.

Ten minutes before half-time, Thompson made it 3-0 with a neat finish after great work from Bown.

The visitors put on a great display second half, with Bown and Mcloughlin pulling the strings and Oxendale holding everything together.

The top-class passing brought chance after chance and Thompson completed his hat-trick five minutes into the second half with yet another tidy and composed finish.

Thompson was then brought off to rest a slight knee injury and was replaced by Sam Rackham.

The football remained just as good though, and Parker grabbed his second soon after with a great left-footed strike across goal which whizzed into the bottom corner for 5-0.

It really was all Heslerton now with everyone trying to get on the score sheet. Mikey Clarke was denied by a great save as was Sam Rackham, who was denied two or three certain goals by Crowe.

Mcloughlin dribbled round the hosts’ midfield before rasping a thunderbolt from 30 yards which unluckily rattled the bar.

Bown deservedly got on the scoresheet after being dinked through by Oxendale and then cutely lifting the ball over Crowe.

Sellers completed the rout with number seven before Slingsby got a consolation goal from the penalty spot through their skipper Sean Keefe.

James Mcloughlin and Mikey Clarke shared the man of the match award for Heslerton, while defender Joe Brown was Slingsby’s star man.

In the other Trophy match, top-flight outfit Union Rovers eased to a 3-0 home win against second division Aislaby United.

In the Hospital Cup, Sinnington had to work hard for a 1-0 win at a much-improved Kirkdale United.

Sinnington had two early chances to take the lead, but they went narrowly wide.

Kirkdale settled and were passing the ball well and caused a few problem but Sinnington kept them in the main to hopeful shots from distance.

United keeper James Thompson was also busy and made some fine saves to help keep Sinnington at bay throughout the first half.

The second half saw Sinnington dominate from the off and it gradually increaced as the half progressed, a string of fine saves by Thompson and some timely blocks and tackles from the Dale defenders, with Jack Hugill, George Bentley and Jake Fox particularly busy.

The breakthrough had to happen and it duly arrived in the 67th minute when Rob Preston’s neat turn and shot into the bottom corner was enough to take Sinnington through to the next round, as they negotiated the final 23 minutes quite comfortably.

There were some excellent individual displays in a good Kirkdale team performance including James Magson, Hugill and man of the match Fox, while Sinnington’s star man was striker Dave Wilkinson.

In the other two Hospital Cup games, Duncombe Park claimed a shock 2-1 win at holders Kirkbymoorside Reserves, while division one side Bagby & Balk had to work hard for a 3-2 home success against league new boys Snainton Reserves.

Rosedale maintained their unbeaten start to the first division season with a 4-2 success at home to Thornton Dale.

Goals from star man Matthew Tyreman, young strikers Kyle Clacherty and Sam Burns, and left-winger Tim Hodgeson secured the points for the hosts.

Thornton’s goals came from forwards David Elliot and man of the match John Ellis.

Gillamoor earned a 2-0 triumph at Norton United.

Skipper Sean Walker had a superb game at centre-half for the visitors, also scoring a goal, while striker Luke Tateson got on the scoresheet with his first strike of the season.