FROLESWORTH United made it back-to-back wins to climb atop the Division Two summit on Wednesday evening after a scintillating second-half display saw the Rabbits comfortably dispatch of a bewildered Desford Athletic on a pleasant autumnal evening at Kimcote Road.
A debut goal from Barnes Gladman on the stroke of half time gave the hosts the platform to secure another three points, after Jordan Halford once again saw his side surrender the opening goal from a long throw into the box. But the interim manager shuffled the pack at the break, moving the architectural Max Jones behind striker Sam Young and it immediately paid dividends as the pair combined for the latter to put United in front merely 60 seconds after the restart.
Callum Wills grabbed his second in as many outings just before the hour mark, before Jones himself got in on the act seven minutes later to ensure the spoils remained in Gilmorton and United hit top spot. Captain Young completed his brace seven minutes from time with the home side queuing up to put the visitors to the sword, but Athletic had the final say after the home side were caught cold on the break in the dying seconds.
Nonetheless, the manager can afford to be content with his side's start as the Rabbits boast the only 100 per cent record in the division after having fallen behind in both encounters so far. Halford was forced to make three changes to the side that edged past Webby's Wanderers on Sunday after rushing back from London, two of which coming in a back-four that conceded two in the opening seven minutes at Horsewell Lane.
Skipper Mark James and Joshua Van Allen were both missing from the heart of the defence, so Martin Fennon moved inside to partner Harry Shervington, while Andy Morris moved over to left-back to accommodate Steven Bottom. Jones, meanwhile, moved alongside Chris Capell as the returning Dan Morrow, debutant Gladman and Wills provided lone-striker Young with some added firepower in the absence of Filipino Dom Ivens.
But once again, United started slowly and were behind inside the opening 20 minutes after a reoccurring problem surfaced to the detriment of the hosts. A longstanding worry with Frolesworth teams has been the inability to deal with opposing set-pieces and that remained evident when Sam Spence climbed highest to glance his header into the far corner past a helpless Luke Evans.
It was a disappointing start for United, playing their first league game in Gilmorton, but they soon began to find their rhythm and after a wonderful, sweeping attack forward they should have hauled themselves level when Young - destined to score - somehow contrived to stand on the ball in the six-yard box. Still, aggrieved by their earlier injustice United sought retribution and almost inflicted what would have been a stunning leveller when Jones flashed a volley narrowly wide of the far post.
And just as it looked as though United would trail heading into the dressing rooms, industrious debutant Gladman popped up on the stroke of half time to reward his manager's faith in what was one of the stellar signings of the summer. Surprisingly, the goal came from a rather direct route as Evans' gargantuan punt downfield was nodded into the path of the 21-year-old by Wills and Gladman uted a perfectly struck volley from just inside the box to ensure the game was deadlocked at the break.
However, Halford was fully aware that his side would invariably be punished should they not convert their dominance into goals, so Jones moved forward to support the isolated Young with Bottom moving into midfield alongside Capell, Morrow dropping to right-back and Gladman completing the domino effect by switching to the right flank.
It soon reaped rewards, too, as no sooner than 60 seconds after the restart had United gained the initiative through Young after he combined effortlessly with Jones before confidently dispatching his second goal of the season. It was the boost that the Rabbits so urgently required and with the shackles now firmly released following a superb Evans one-on-one stop, they cruised through the gears in irresistible fashion to secure top spot inside an hour.
Wills, complaining of a shoulder twinge, was again withdrawn shortly before the 60-minute mark but his parting gift was another well-taken goal, as he cheekily slid the ball home at the near post before being withdrawn for Daniel Carvin. Jones too wanted in on the act, keen not to let his team-mates race ahead of him in the goalscoring charts and he notched his second of the campaign on 64 minutes after ghosting into the box late before powerfully slotting home United's fourth with aplomb.
The home side soon began to demonstrate their superior pedigree that has warranted many to tip United for the title, as Gladman was denied scoring a wonderful back-heel after a strong low save but Young soon made it five seven minutes from time after he was set up by substitute Sam Putnam. Halford's only disappointment would have been that his side conceded a sloppy second in the dying embers, when pouring forward in search of another, United were out-numbered on the break and Morris was unable to prevent Jamie Busswell from slamming home a scarcely deserved consolation for the visitors.
But in truth, United had to settle for five goals and another three points when they could have easily hit double figures. The Rabbits make the arduous trip to Quorn on Sunday in search of a hat-trick of wins on CSKA's infamous 3G pitch with both Halford and his players knowing full well they are yet to reach their full potential.