REPORT: Widnes 8-0 St Helens Town
George Lomax nets a hat-trick as Widnes score eight
George Lomax hit a first half hat-trick as Widnes FC produced an emphatic performance to beat St Helens Town 8-0 at the Select Security Stadium.
With Lomax’s treble putting Joey Dunn’s side 3-0 up at the break, further goals from Chris Lomax, Luke J Edwards, Chad Whyte and a Steve Akrigg brace completed the scoring and a record league win for Widnes.
Manager Dunn made two changes to the side that won at Bacup Borough less than 48 hours previously. Chris Lomax dropped to the bench as Jack Graham was handed a recall to starting lineup whilst Edwards came in for unavailable skipper Kev Pollard.
Widnes started well and mounted some early pressure. George Lomax went on a marauding run past three Town defenders only to see his tame effort on goal comfortably gathered by ‘keeper Adam Fairchild before the striker rose highest to head an Edwards free-kick wide.
The hosts survived an early let-off that could have changed the entire complexion of the fixture. An uncharacteristic error from defender Mike Burke presented possession to Stephen Rigby who advanced on goal but ‘keeper Richie Mottram got down well to make a good save with his feet.
Rigby’s effort proved to be St Helens’ only meaningful effort on goal as Widnes never relinquished control from that point onwards.
After 21 minutes, the hosts took the lead. Kev Towey brought the ball down in midfield before releasing George Lomax who got to the ball ahead of defender Andrew Webster to slot beneath the on-rushing Fairchild for Widnes’ opener.
Lomax doubled his account and Widnes’ lead 15 minutes later. The striker forced Adam Donohue into an error as a relatively simple header went astray. Lomax intercepted the loose ball and finished smartly beyond Fairchild.
He completed his hat-trick two minutes before half-time. Lomax latched on to a through-ball over the top and lifted the ball over Fairchild before applying a simple finish into an empty net.
Lomax’s third goal carried extra significance as the striker is now the Club’s second all-time leading goalscorer with 19 goals, moving ahead of Ben Tollitt who netted 18 times for Widnes.
Halftime: Widnes 3-0 St Helens Town
‘Keeper Fairchild was called into action early in the second half as Widnes went in search of a fourth goal. He produced a terrific finger-tip save to deny Edwards from the edge of the D after good work in the build-up by George Lomax.
Seven minutes into the second half, Widnes increased their lead. Towey was again involved as he squared it to Chris Lomax. The substitute had time to set himself before finding the top corner with a sublime shot that left Fairchild with no chance.
St Helens manager Alan Gillespie made all three changes in relatively quick succession in an attempt to give his side a new lease of life. However, the substitution did little to stifle Widnes’ potent attack with Dunn’s side wasting a glorious chance to add a fifth.
It was an incisive counter-attack from Widnes spearhead by Edwards. He released George Lomax down the channel who whipped a delicious cross towards Sam Sheen at the back-post who could only lift his effort over the bar from close-range.
Sheen’s miss mattered little as defender Steve Akrigg get in on the act five minutes later. Chris Lomax swung a deep corner into the area where the former Southport defender was on-hand to head his first Widnes goal into the roof of the net.
After waiting 20 games for his first goal for the club, Akrigg was at the double as he bagged his second 10 minutes from time. Lomax again produced a deep corner with Akrigg rose above his marker to direct a header into the top corner, despite former Widnes man Paul Carney’s best attempts to make a crucial intervention on the line.
Striker Chad Whyte was introduced against his former club for Widnes and he was heavily involved in his side’s seventh goal of the afternoon.
Whyte won the ball back on the far side before bursting forward and into the area. He cut inside and effortlessly went past three defenders before unselfishly rolling the ball into the feet of Luke J Edwards who hammered home from the edge of the area off the underside of the bar.
Less than two minutes later, it was 8-0 as Whyte got himself on the scoresheet. Chris Lomax burst down the left before swinging a cross towards Whyte who hooked a shot at goal that nestled in the back of the net to secure a club record win for Widnes.
Fulltime: Widnes 8-0 St Helens Town
Despite their club record victory, Widnes remain fourth in the Hallmark Security League First Division. However, they are amongst five teams who could all mathematically end the season as Champions.
Dunn’s side sit two points behind league leaders City of Liverpool with a game in-hand on the Purples and a solitary point behind second-placed Charnock Richard having played the same amount of games. Litherland REMYCA sit third, one point ahead of Widnes having played two games more.
Next up for Widnes is a midweek encounter with Silsden at the Select Security Stadium on Tuesday.