Paget Rangers thrashed Hampton FC 7-0 on a bitter April night in Boldmere to keep their promotion hopes alive.
The win came days after a 1-0 away win to Barnt Green Spartak, thanks to an early goal from Dean Morris.
Whilst an Alvis Sporting Club win in Feckenham was less than ideal, the Bears made sure to keep up as they got all three points with an emphatic win.
The first goal came relatively quickly, Daniel Carter latched onto a well placed over the top ball but Simon Hinsley and Liam Mansell managed to block the striker’s route to goal. However, the Hampton defence failed to clear the ball and it ended up with Jeorge Smith, whose quick pass found Ross Dempster, the Paget striker duly sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Hampton began to put the pressure on in hopes of a quick equaliser, but the Bears quickly regained control over the game, and almost doubled their leaved but the visitors’ goalkeeper Eric Hathway pulled off a great save to deny Dean Morris.
Paget didn’t have to wait long to find the goal again, a great passing movement ended with the ball being sent to an unmarked Billy Fagg on the right side, who chipped the ball into the top corner.
Only five minutes later and the Bears had another opportunity to wound the opposition when Dempster was fouled in the air, calls for a penalty were dismissed as the referee awarded Paget a free kick on the edge of the box. Jeorge Smith stepped up and sent the ball past Hathway with a low free kick.
With the half hour mark looming Hampton wasted a great opportunity to pull one back when Tyler Robinson sent a free header, from a corner, over the bar.
The miss meant the Wee Gers would go into the break with a healthy 3-0 lead.
It didn’t take the Bears long to find the net again as Smith picked out, half time substitution, Mark Bellingham in the box, who converted the low cross with ease.
Five minutes later Dempster netted his second of the night with a simple finish after beating the offside trap to go one-on-one with the hapless goalkeeper.
It only took a further two minutes for the Bears to double their half time score, Dempster picked out Luke Bradley who did well to get a shot away, and was unlucky not to score but the shot was parried into the path of Carter who pipped it in from close range.
Dempster completed his hat trick with less than ten minutes to go, Bradley involved again this time providing the dragged back cross to set up the hat trick hero in perfect space. There was no doubt in the Paget faithful’s mind where the ball was going as the Hampton defence conceded their final goal of the night.
Updated 23:33 - 26 Apr 2017 by Joshua Smith