STRATFORD Town Youth extended their unbeaten run to five and completed the seasonal double over Lye Town with a comfortable 5-0 victory at the MoodChimp Stadium on Thursday night, writes Bryan Hale.
Nick Ballinger’s side were in control virtually throughout, and two goals each from Harry Hartin and George Kirby plus a fifth from George Dawson topped off an outstanding performance.
Bradley West was first to threaten with a fifth-minute free-kick which was anxiously scrambled away by the Lye keeper, and Lye were soon having to defend in depth and in numbers to cope with the pace and persistence of Hartin, West and Tyrike Richards-Burke.
Hartin hit a long-range effort straight at the keeper on 20 minutes followed by Richards-Burke firing over from a narrow angle and James Pomeroy seeing his shot only held by the keeper at the second attempt.
And the pressure finally told on the half-hour mark when Richards-Burke slipped the ball to West, whose pinpoint pass released Hartin down the inside right channel and he ran on to fire past the advancing keeper.
Soon after, a Dan Atkins attempt was deflected behind and another West free-kick landed on the roof of the net as Lye somehow reached the break only one down.
But Town were quick to put the result beyond doubt with three goals in six minutes early in the second half.
Eight minutes in, a Dawson cross from the left was volleyed in by Hartin and two minutes later Pomeroy picked out Kirby’s run into the penalty area with an inch perfect pass which Kirby hit first time into the bottom corner.
And in the 59th minute, with Lye now in total disarray, the keeper fumbled a Josh Aspinall-Smyth free-kick and Kirby pounced to slot home the rebound.
Town went on to have several more chances, but the under pressure keeper plunged to his left to push away a fierce drive from the hat-trick seeking Hartin with 20 minutes to go and then came out on top in a one-on-one with Richards-Burke.
But Town eventually made it five in the 85th minute when Dawson turned past his marker to shoot home from eight yards out.
In other youth team news, Stratford have been handed a home draw in the semi-finals of the MFYL League Cup.
They will face either Alvechurch or Wednesfield, who are due play their delayed quarter-final on Friday night.