Hurst Green put to bed their horror result against Bolton County by disposing of a spirited Ladybridge side on Saturday in a score that slightly flattered the visitors.
Two goals from loanee Ross Dent on debut were the highlight of an entertaining game in which the home side contributed fully too.
Ladybridge belied their lowly position by dominating the early exchanges and pegged Hurst Green back in their own half.
It was only committed defending and excellent goalkeeping from another debutant, keeper Adam Chester, that kept the score to 0-0.
Chester made two great saves from long range shots as the right winger was running rings around the Green players with his pace and cultured right foot. Green, however took the lead against the run of play as Dent’s perseverance paid off with a heavily-deflected effort which found the corner. The goal didn’t alter the course of the game as the home side continued with their exciting forward play, but found Green’s defending tough to penetrate.
The visitors looked dangerous when they had a rare foray forward, and Chris Scott was unlucky with a right footed effort which brought a solid save out of the home keeper.
The visitors doubled their lead when a scuffed free kick found its way into the area, where Danny Walker was on hand to bury the ball into the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
With a two-goal lead, the visitors were adamant that a repeat of the last game wasn’t going to happen as Green put in a thoroughly professional second half as they battled and grafted their way to the victory.
Walker, playing in the hole, was creating chances for the away side and got Hurst Green a deserved third goal as he delivered a right wing cross which Dent eventually managed to steer home under pressure from the keeper.
Ladybridge’s threat was somewhat blunted during the second half but they still tested keeper Chester’s reflexes with shots from outside the box and a point blank range header which he superbly tipped over the bar.
By then the game was won, even more so as Scott twisted and turned to set up Walker for his second of the game, a smart close range finish.
Substitute Rick Tyrrell came on and immediately could have extended Green’s lead as twice he connected with crosses which went narrowly wide.
Chris Cookson finished off the scoring as he swept in from close range after a corner wasn’t cleared with five minutes to go.
Cookson should have grabbed his second minutes later but his header was cleared off the line.
Hurst Green went back to the top of the league, and they are at home at Smithy Row on Saturday, kick-off 2 p.m.
FINAL SCORE: Ladybridge 0, Hurst Green 5