Penwortham St Teresa’s Blue 9 Springfields 0
Five-goal hero Nathan Pickup led Penwortham St Teresa’s Blue to a comprehensive win against Springfields at Ashton Community Science College in their Central Lancs JFL Under-13s Division Two clash. (writes Sam Gilliland)
The striker set up Jack Hatcher for the opening goal inside 50 seconds before adding five of his own.
Efforts from Robbie Gerrard, Ryan Howarth and two for James Wignall also extended Penwortham’s cushion as they moved to within four points of Myerscough White in the table.
Despite the worries over recent weather, the game went ahead on a 3G pitch, and Penwortham wasted no time in taking the lead.
Pickup played a pass through the centre of the field to Hatcher, who then sent a high chip over Springfields goalkeeper Jamie Metcalfe when one on one to put Penwortham in front.
The hosts soon added a second just 10 minutes later, when Wignall found Pickup in space on the inside-left, before the striker also lofted the ball high over Metcalfe into the net.
Penwortham were largely in control and could have added a third when Pickup’s low drive from outside the box came back of Metcalfe’s far post.
However, they did find another goal before the half-hour mark as Pickup’s surging run down the right channel found him the space to shoot from a tight angle, and his effort crept in at the near post to give Penwortham a third.
Springfields had chances to pull a goal back, with the best falling to Jack Brown, whose low shot on the edge of the penalty area was saved by the feet of Penwortham goalkeeper Ellis Keenan.
But they were caught out once more before half-time as Gerrard beat the onrushing Metcalfe to the ball before taking it wide and floating it back across goal into the far corner.
Springfields’ task became even more difficult following the break as Penwortham scored a fifth when Pickup sent a looping lob over Metcalfe to complete his hat-trick as the ball bounced in off the crossbar.
Pickup then had a hand in the hosts’ sixth as his corner from the right arrived at the feet of Howarth, who was able to blast the loose ball past Metcalfe.
Penwortham’s attacks were proving irresistible, and Pickup got in for a seventh inside the penalty area before stabbing the ball low into Metcalfe’s far corner.
Pickup then turned provider again, lofting the ball through for Wignall to grab his first of the game as the midfielder slid the ball in at the near post.
Both Pickup and Wignall were denied by the crossbar as they searched for more goals.
However, the latter got his second by tapping in Hatcher’s low cross from the right.
And Pickup rounded off the afternoon in added time with a fierce strike from more than 20 yards which flew into Metcalfe’s top corner, giving Penwortham all three points.