Hurst Green 6, Milnthorpe Corinthians 2
A sloppy second half display marred an otherwise straightforward victory for the leaders Hurst Green, as they made it nine games unbeaten in their push for promotion and the West Lancashire League Second Division title at the first attempt.
A hat-trick from debutant Paul Coote was another plus point as Green brushed aside a poor Milnthorpe side, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Coote got off the mark early on with the easiest of first goals, as the keeper skewed a clearance straight to the striker’s feet, and he duly slotted the ball into the empty net.
The hapless defending continued as Hayes’ shot was diverted beyond the keeper to make it 2-0.
Hayes grabbed his second as he was sent clear, and he finished well.
The one-way traffic continued, with the move of the game giving Coote his second.
Green worked the ball well into Haworth, and his lovely flighted ball found Coote at the back post, who nodded in to bring up four.
Green huffed and puffed in the second half, and lacked a certain degree of creativity.
Substitute Scott came on and injected some more pace and tempo, and Walker had an excellent opportunity to grab a goal, but didn’t make a strong enough connection as he tried to lift it over the keeper.
Corinthians, to their credit, battled valiantly to the end and got a consolation goal from the spot after an innocuous-looking challenge from Brierley was punished by the referee.
With the home side still struggling to get any kind of rhythm going, the away side got a second in comical fashion as Chester, blinded by the sun, lost sight of a high ball and Hays nipped in to tuck the ball away.
But Coote completed his hat-trick from the spot in the final minute after a blatant handball following a cross into the box, rounding off a good day.
Green play their final home game of the season on Saturday when they face lowly Barrow Wanderers, kick-off 3 p.m.