Norstar United followed up their recent cup victory, by comfortably dispatching of Linnet Bowery 9-1 at South Hunsley. The sides only previous meeting came almost two years ago in a cup semi final, with the away side running out 2-1 winners. Today, they were made to look very average as Norstar sent a message to rest of the Hull Sunday league.
After a fairly even beginning to the game, it was in fact the away side who were first to get their foot on the ball and enjoy the majority of possession. However, they failed to create any real chances, choosing the aerial route too often, which was easy pickings for the back three of James Stainton, Luke Fyvie and Ashley Biglin. Norstar played their way into trouble, however skipper James Stainton was on hand to ensure the scoreline remained goalless.
Half an hour had passed before Norstar carved out an opening. Tim Holmes found himself one on one with the keeper, however his shot was saved, and Connor Watson shanked the rebound over the bar. Moments later, the woodwork was shaking. The ball broke to Callum Holmes, and from fully 35 yards, he hit a stunning half volley which cruelly crashed against the upright. The half time whistle sounded, and the game was really in need of a goal, 0-0 at the break.
The message from half time to the Norstar team was clear, stop looking for the long ball and play to feet more. No fewer than two minutes into the second half, the breakthrough came. Aidan Welham dispossessed his man, and burst forward. He slid a perfect pass through to Tim Holmes, who stroked the ball calmly into the bottom corner.
Just moments after the restart, it was 2-0 to the home side. Some energetic pressing from Callum Holmes allowed Tim Holmes to stride into the box, and rifle a left foot shot into the roof of the net. A third goal followed swiftly, as Holmes turned provider for his striking partner. He found himself in space on the right wing, beat his man and squared the ball. Connor Watson had a tap in, and Linnet had folded like a cheap decked chair.
It was clear to see Norstar were breathing confidence. The physical presence of midfield pairing Callum Holmes and Pat Alston was making it increasingly difficult for the away side to play, and there was only going to be one winner from here. A corner for Norstar provided them with their next goal scoring opportunity, and they made no mistake. Tim Holmes could do no wrong, and as the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, the outcome was inevitable. A controlled drive into the bottom corner completed a fully deserved hat trick. He wasn’t finished there either, as once again he latched onto a through ball from man of the match Callum Holmes, rounded the keeper and passed into the net. 5-0 United lead, and this was becoming too easy.
With Holmes now sat on the bench, it was Watson’s turn to punish a tiring Linnet side. As they struggled to clear the ball, Watson left the ground and converted a lovely overhead kick to double his personal goal tally. A brief bit of rest bite followed for Linnet, as a hopeful ball forward caught the Norstar defence flat footed, and they were able to poke home a consolation goal.
Normal service was quickly resumed, as James Stainton tried to prove he can pass a ball, after a few worm burners the previous week. He executed a wonderful left foot through ball, to which Watson latched onto, outpaced the defenders and finished expertly to complete his hat trick and take Norstar into a 7-1 lead. Not to be outdone by his strike partner, Watson capitalised on some questionable defending to pick up his fourth of the game and heap more misery on Linnet.
There was still time in the game for one final goal, as Watson turned provider for the ever willing Aidan Welham, who despite scuffing his shot, managed to beat the keeper and complete a 9-1 drubbing on the opening day of the league campaign.
For a long time, this game was in the balance. However a fifteen minute spell after half time blew the visitors away, and ensured Norstar United took the three points home. Connor Watson and Tim Holmes were clinical, a performance built on some solid midfield work and assured defending. This was an almost faultless beginning to what Norstar will hope to be a successful season. With players returning, coach Danny Cutsforth will have a tough decision choosing a squad for the next game, with everyone putting in such passionate displays. Next up is a tasty looking cup tie away at FC Cumberland.
Norstar United squad; Pat Alston, Nathan Barr, Ashley Biglin, Jake Bristow, Jordan Cartwright, Danny Cutsforth, Luke Fyvie, Callum Holmes, Tim Holmes, Nathan Malek, James Richmond, James Stainton, Connor Watson, Aidan Welham.