Norton Athletic 13 Barsham 0
Norton ruthless against the young Barsham side
Norton welcomed the young guns of Barsham to The Subcourse looking to follow up last week’s superb team performance with another against the league strugglers. Barsham are to be credited to sticking with it during a tough season when many clubs would have folded and I for one hope they manage to see the season out and celebrate their 70th anniversary later in the year.
For Norton I was missing Connor Mitchell and James Hardy from last week’s side but welcomed back Archie Crossan, Mike Ball and Carl Cooper who was returning after a long injury lay off.
Norton took the game to Barsham from the outset and it was evident early on that Declan Mitchell would be a constant thorn in the Barsham side with his willingness to drop deep and his pace a constant menace for the visitors.
The first goal arrived on 8 minutes and it came from a long throw routine as Crossan launched towards Ben Burcham whom flicked on and Danny Hoadley planted a header home from 8 yards.
Surprisingly Norton had to wait until the 21st minute for the second goal and this was a free kick routine where Ben Smith played a straight ball towards the edge of the 6-yard box where Mitchell had timed his run to glance his header home.
Norton were at times guilty of switching off allowing Barsham a couple of attacks but nothing to trouble the goal and Norton were largely back on the offensive on the counter with Adam Orme and Ben Smith in particular having good games moving the ball well.
The third goal arrived on 31 minutes as Norton built from the back as Burcham found Orme wide left. His one two with Hoadley then saw his low cross turned into his own net by a Barsham player under the attentions of Alfie Kelner.
Mitchell then stung the hands of the Barsham keeper, but it was soon 4-0 in the 34th minute as another break by Mitchell saw him run from the half way line into the penalty area when he dropped his shoulder and pulled the ball back leaving the defender in his wake. He then picked out Danny Hoadley at the far post whom needed two attempts to score.
Two minutes later and Danny Hoadley recorded his hat-trick as some fine left-wing play by Ben Smith saw him ping an excellent left footed cross where once more Hoadley was on hand to head home and the half time score was 5-0 and the points seemingly in the bag.
Norton started the second half as they finished the first as Mike Ball strode forward from the back and centered where once again Hoadley was on hand to head home goal number 6 with 50 minutes played.
At this juncture I made a triple substitution in order to give plenty of game time to the subs and Hoadley, Smith and Kelner were replaced.
The goals kept coming and James McElhinney netted his first goal for the club almost immediately as he rounded the keeper before slotting home number 7.
Ben Burcham then headed home number 8 from a Mitchell corner in the 67th minute.
McElhinney then saw two more opportunities to score as both times he rounded the keeper but found the angle to narrow. He then saw another effort hit the bar and could easily have netted his own hat-trick within 15 minutes of coming on.
Adam Orme netted number 9 cutting in from the left and he then set up the 10th for Mitchell and by this point there was still 10 minutes to play.
Normally in these types of games Norton ease to a win but today we were ruthless and kept searching for goals and added 3 more. Number 11 came from Rory Spinks who ran onto a ball from 18 yards and calmly side footed home.
Alfie Kelner who had come back on for Spinks then scored his first Norton goal following up at the far post after the keeper had saved Mitchells header and the final goal was scored by McElhinney with two minutes left after once more rounding the keeper.
This was a fine performance by Norton and in-between the goals several other chances were saved by the Barsham keeper and on the day, it could have quite easily have been twenty plus however I will settle for the 13.
Fair play to Barsham for not giving up and I hope they get some good fortune soon.
For Norton the last two week’s have been much improved and again there were several contenders for the Read Bros MoM but today it goes to Dec Mitchell whom I felt was at the heart of everything and we look a much more dangerous side when he plays.
Well done to all though.
This week we travel to Normanston Park to take on Stanford whom gave us a 5-0 hiding earlier in the season.