**FROLESWORTH UNITED 7-2 REAL OAK**
FROLESWORTH United recorded their biggest ever win on Sunday morning, as the Rabbits went goal-crazy to smash seven past local rivals Real Oak.
Jake Pantony, Joe Cook, Greg Garner, Miles Splevings and a Chris Bradshaw hat-trick completed an impressive performance from United, with Matt Creasey’s brace proving nothing more than a consolation for the visitors.
Manager Ben Harris continued his rotation policy throughout pre-season, and handed Luke Evans his first start between the posts at the expense of Matt Errington. Steven Bottom was a late replacement at right-back, the only change to the back-four from the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Lutterworth WMC.
Pantony moved backwards to partner skipper Craig Rowbottom in the holding role, meaning Cook was employed in the hole behind Bradshaw with debutant Adam Laywood and youngster Dan Morrow on either flank.
Frolesworth lined-up in their third kit of all navy, and Harris’ decision to introduce Bottom to the problematic right-back area was vindicated in just the eighth minute when he nicked possession from Tom Follows, before hurdling a challenge and offloading the ball inside to Cook.
New-signing Laywood then crossed for Bradshaw, who with one swift movement turned to fire home his first goal for the Clarets.
And, just nine minutes later, the Rabbits’ lead was doubled through Pantony. He picked the ball up deep inside his own territory this time, before rounding Cameron Rhind and exchanging passes with Cook and then rifling into the top corner.
Frolesworth looked simply irresistible going forward and scored again in the 24th minute, through what could possibly be the greatest strike ever seen at the Warren.
Centre-half Mark Baker rolled the ball short from a free-kick just inside the opposing half and Bradshaw let fly with a thunderbolt from fully 35-yards, which crashed off the underside of the bar, and in, reminiscent of Ghanian Tony Yeboah.
Ben Harris must have been dreaming of promotion for the forthcoming campaign, should he be able to keep star-striker Bradshaw happy. He could have had his hat-trick moments later, but a superb intervention from Real Oak right-back Oliver van Allen foiled him on the goal-line.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, though and Real Oak hit back after an unlikely defensive mistake from Baker. He failed to clear on the edge of his box and Creasey nipped in, to volley home an impressive looping effort over the despairing Evans just after the half-hour mark.
Frolesworth wouldn’t be deterred, however, and Baker made amends for his error just five minutes later when he cantered into the opposition half, before receiving an inch-perfect ball back from Laywood on the overlap and back-heeling into the path of Bradshaw, who in turn, unselfishly squared for Cook to make it 4-1.
Bradshaw would complete his hat-trick just minutes before half-time, too, heading home a deep Pantony free-kick at the back-post as Frolesworth continued to run riot.
Harris rang the changes in the second half, with two introductions coming at the break, Cook replaced by Garner and Mark James came on for Bottom. Meanwhile, on the hour mark, Matt Pell, Splevings, Eddie Glaister and Sam Young replaced Jack Boulton, Morrow, Rowbottom and Laywood, respectively.
However, the substitutions appeared to have a disrupting effect on the hosts, who conceded another sloppy goal in the 64th minute from a Real Oak throw-in. James was beaten in the air by Tony Brown, and Creasey helped himself to a second at the near post.
The game looked to be harmlessly drifting to a conclusion, but with 20 minutes to play, Real Oak were reduced to 10-men in disgraceful fashion. Robbie Bigham inexplicably heat-butted left-back Jack Rudman following an innocuous challenge, prompting a furious reaction from several Frolesworth players.
But Algerian referee Ali Ramezenkani astonishingly punished Rudman and awarded a penalty, presenting Creasey with the chance to complete his hat-trick, but his tame effort was beaten away by Evans.
And the save appeared to galvanise United, who went straight up the other end as two substitutes combined, Young rolling the ball across the goalmouth for the onrushing Garner to make it six.
The sprightly Splevings finally got his name on the scoresheet too, with little over ten minutes to play as Young again turned provider for him, and he lashed home after having hit the crossbar twice previously to heap more misery on the visitiors.
FROLESWORTH: EVANS, BOTTOM (45 FOR JAMES), BOULTON (60 FOR PELL) BAKER, RUDMAN (70 FOR BAINES), ROWBOTTOM (60 FOR GLAISTER) PANTONY, LAYWOOD (60 FOR YOUNG), MORROW (60 FOR SPLEVINGS), BRADSHAW (70 FOR SWANWICK)
For Every Man A Religion.
Probably the most professional amateur football club in the world . . .