Michael Murray hat trick - without a free kick or penalty!
With cups runs finished the ‘Scholars’ returned to league action and league ambitions for the remainder of the season.
On a November autumn afternoon - dull and wet - a crowd of 92 witnessed an entertaining game where the visitors again belied their league position.
Debutant Sandro Costa made an impressive introduction to the team becoming a focal point on the left wing – giving the ‘Scholars’ width they had been missing in recent weeks – he was soon a favourite of the home crowd with purposeful runs down the wing and not afraid to cut in and shoot - causing the keeper to make two good saves.
The visitors were also enterprising and keen to get forward keeping the well marshalled home defence on their toes and working hard.
It was 35 mins before the deadlock was broken when Sandro Costa crossed in from the left - the challenge from Eoin Casey saw the ball fall to Michael Murray to hit home the opening goal on the edge of the six yard box.
The visitors refused to lie down and equalised on 39 mins when a deep cross from the left saw Tim Henery at the far post force the ball home despite a valiant attempt from Andy Lomas on the line.
But on 41 mins the lead was regained when after good approach play the ball was squared in from the right for Michael Murray to guide the ball home low into the right hand corner.
Michael Murray completed his hat trick on the hour when a ball in from the left saw him on the edge of the box and his firm shot took a deflection but easily beat the keeper.
On 65 mins Steve Brown at the far post headed in a Michael Murray free kick form the right to extend the lead further.
But still the visitors kept plugging away and in the space of ten seconds Berkley Laurencin pulled off two spectacular saves at point blank range to deny the 'Planters' a second goal.
The home side made substitutions and took their foot of the pedal and the defence needed to continue to work hard to keep the visitors at bay. Tom Boxer and Chris Doyle making well time interventions.
There was still one further chance but after a good run down the left by sub David Sota saw Michael Murray as unable to beat the keeper - who made another final good save.
Team: Berkley Laurencin, Chris Doyle, Andrew Lomas, Lee O’Leary, Steve Brown, Tom Boxer, Sandro Costa (David Sota 69 mins), Billy Adcock (Billy Baird 75 mins), Michael Murray, George Nicholas, Eoin Casey (Femi Ogunsola 69 mins)
Subs (not used): Steven Benavides-Martinez, Greg Marsh
Goals: Michael Murray 35, 41, 60 mins
Steve Brown 65 mins
Man of the match: debutant Sandro Carlos