The Strollers came into Saturday's game in good spirits after the Christmas trip to Leeds last weekend. The morale boosting trip was sorely needed after the sensational departure of flamboyant playmaker/betting tipster, Paul Burden who signed for Mussleburgh during the week.
With central defenders Dillion & Tomarelli missing, influential midfielder Thomson was forced to drop back and squeeze himself into the number 5 shirt, alongside Reade, whilst Mcpherson returning from holiday slotted into midfield.
The game got of to a scrappy start with neither side able to gain the upper hand and some poor defending led to some half chances being created at both ends with, Allan making some vital stops to prevent the Strollers going behind.
The first real goalscoring opportunity was created by the home side, the big Scandinavian forward barrelled through the Strollers rearguard before cutting the ball back to an oncoming midfielder who's effort struck the post and trickled along the goal line before being cleared by Watt.
This close escape seemed to jolt the Strollers into action as they got on the front foot and started to create some chances of their own, only the woodwork and some wasteful finishing by Clement, Langstaff and Reade meant the game remained scoreless.
LBG Stroller 0 - 0 Sporting Icapb
Football's often described as a game of 2 halves and after saturdays game it's easy to see why.
Manager Campbell challenged the Strollers to raise their game and the team responded almost immediately, 5 minutes into the 2nd half Gaunt worked the ball down the left wing before laying off to Watt who sent the ball into the corridor of uncertainty where Clement got the faintest of touches to send the ball past the Sporting keeper, despite the home sides protest for offside the goal stood and Clement had his first goal from open play since September.
After taking the lead the Strollers continued to press men forward looking for a second goal and were almost made to pay as a counter attack from Sporting had their striker through one on one with Allen who made a great save before the striker somehow sent the rebound over the crossbar from inside the 6 yard box.
This was to prove vital as from that point onward it was one way traffic as the Strollers took charge, the industrious centre midfield pairing of Hentges and Mcpherson stopped the Sporting midfield getting on the ball and provided a platform that allowed Hitchen and Gaunt to thrive.
At the hour mark some good play down the right sent Clement through on goal and he fired home to make it 2nil. 5 minutes later Gaunt made it 3 after receiving the ball down the left he beat his man cut inside and rifled the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
The Strollers didn't stop there and after Sporting failed to clear a Clement corner the ball broke to Reade who smashed the ball home from just inside the area for his 1st goal in a Strollers jersey.
The rout was completed when a slack pass from a Sporting defender was chased down by the tireless Hentges who blocked the goalkeepers attempted clearance, the ball broke perfectly for Clement who was on hand to tap in from 2 yards out to complete his 2nd hat-trick of the season.
The win moves the Strollers up to 3rd place in the league and the strong 2nd half performance should provide a confidence boost as they prepare for the upcoming game against Tynecastle in the 2nd round of the Miller Cup.
LBG Stroller 5 - 0 Sporting Icapb