5 Star Offa Call Last Orders on Hawkesbury Bell
Offa returned to winning ways after back-to-back defeats at home with a convincing 5-0 thrashing of league strugglers Hawkesbury Bell.
The home side dominated the game from the first whistle, but failed to make their chances pay early on. Rob Darlington was enjoying acres of space down the Athletic right wing as Hawkesbury struggled to cope with Offa's dominance.
Alex Bailey partnered Tommy Hallam up front after impressing in a friendly against Gresford the week before, but neither striker managed to make the net bulge in the opening half hour.
It was a set play that finally broke the deadlock on 27 minutes as Aaron Poglettke met a Merryweather corner with a fierce header that left the keeper with no chance.
The Buckley side where then buoyed by a period of possession, but the back three of Loftus, Stott and debutant Josh Roberts were barely stretched.
Will Hancock-Fairs had a golden opportunity to put Offa two up 5 minutes before the break after getting on the end of a Sean Merryweather cross, but the midfielder could only force the ball over the bar from close range.
Despite going in at half time as the team in front, Athletic were capable of more and they set up on extending their lead early in the second half. Hallam got his first of the game in his first league start on 52 minutes, whilst Poglettke doubled his tally on the hour mark.
Tommy Hallam then had the opportunity to bag a brace shortly after as he won himself a penalty. Hallam spurned the skipper's request to take the spot kick and soon went from hero to villain as his poor penalty was saved by the keeper's feet in the middle of the goal as he dived to his left.
Cian Loftus then had a goal disallowed in farcical circumstances as a long free kick from just inside the Offa half bounced over the Hawkesbury keeper into the empty net behind him. Referee Tom Blackwell then had to consult the official that was observing him on the sideline before reversing his initial decision and chalking the goal off.
Hancock-Fairs put his first half miss to bed by bagging his first competitive goal for the Offa with 12 minutes to go after latching onto a Sean Merryweather free kick, before Captain Sean Merryweather nearly got on the scoresheet himself. His curling free kick from just outside the box bent around the wall and hit the joint between the post and cross bar, a brilliant set piece that deserved a goal.
However, it was Tommy Hallam who sealed the victory by making amends for his early penalty miss with his second goal; his strike squirmed under the away side's keeper to make it 5-0.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Offa though as Alex Bailey saw red late on for the home side after picking up a silly second yellow card for descent.
Final Score: Offa Athletic 5-0 Hawkesbury Bell
Man of the Match: Phil Stott
Next Up for Offa: Bradley Park (A) - Saturday 1st October 2pm - Queensferry Sports Presidents Cup First Round