Midland League, Division Two
Northfield Town 0
Earlswood Town 3
JON HAMER struck twice to inspire Earlswood Town to a 3-0 victory away at 2019 champions Northfield Town on Saturday.
Joel Hughes also got on the scoresheet for Tom Reynolds’s side, who are now the only team in Midland League Division Two yet to drop a point.
Victory for the Earls leaves them in third place, one point behind league leaders Solihull United with a game hand going into this Saturday’s home clash against Coton Green.
The Earls started on the front foot at Shenley Lane and were almost ahead after ten minutes when Hamer slipped in Harry Street, who drew a fantastic save from the Northfield goalkeeper.
Earlswood continued to press for an opener and strikers Joel Hughes and Jordan McKenzie, both fresh from braces in the season opener, combined to cause confusion in the Northfield defence which resulted in a corner.
Two successive corners produced chances, but the game remained 0-0.
It took 25 minutes for the home side to have their first effort at goal, with a hopeful 25-yard drive easily palmed wide by Earls goalkeeper Dan Farr.
Just after the half-hour mark the deadlock was broken when McKenzie played a throughball in behind to Hamer, who calmly passed the ball into the net.
The Earls had been comfortable, but some complacency straight after opening the scoring almost saw the hosts level.
Northfield got in behind the Earls defence, but the ball was looped over the bar by the forward.
Reynolds’s side went into half-time with a slender lead, but the second half produced a largely uneventful game.
The visitors were comfortable and were never really threatened, but needed a second to seal the win.
They had to wait until the 77th minute for that second goal when Hughes found himself one-on-one after a through ball from skipper Simon Quigley, who was making his 100th appearance for the club.
Hughes feigned a shot and then delicately chipped the ball over the Northfield goalkeeper for a deserved 2-0 lead.
Within five minutes it was game over as Hamer chased down the Northfield goalkeeper and forced an error, intercepting an attempted pass.
Hamer then stroked the ball into the empty net from outside the box and sealed the three points for the Earls.
The visitors should have had a fourth when there was some pinball in the Northfield box, with McKenzie and substitute Matt Pemberton both seeing shots blocked from close range.
There was still time late for a fine save from Earls goalkeeper Farr with a strong wrist to keep the clean sheet intact from a close range strike.