3 Goals in 4 minutes eases Albion to victory
Basement Royals get knocked for six!
Unlike past seasons Albion did not slip on the proverbial banana skin when coming across a team close to or at the bottom of the league.
Indeed this excellent win was their biggest NPL Premier Division away triumph since inflicting a 6-1 thrashing up at Whitby Town back in October 2007.
After Owen Dale's 3rd minute long distance run ended with a shot that went wide, they took the lead in the 10th minute when Town, having blocked a free kick, presented the ball to Will Jones on the left of the area, he superbly squared the ball for Steve Tames who was only denied the goal himself when it struck his fellow striker Rob Hopley en route to the net. This took Rob's tally to 11 for the season, all of them netted in league matches.
Witton then came through a tricky period of play when the home team created three opportunities to level, the closest seeing the ball bounce off the crossbar.
Carl Macauley's defensive injury problems were then escalated when Nick Ryan, skipper for the day and wearing the number 5 shirt for the first time was forced to leave the field following an earlier blow to the face inflicted by Reece Webb who somehow escaped even a yellow card!
Micah Evans was brought on with scorer Hopley once more taking on a central defender role.
A five minute hold-up in proceedings then ensued when referee Matthew Law fell to the Coles Lane, Central Ground's plastic surface, unable to continue and following a tannoy appeal a replacement linesman was duly recruited.
With the running clock showing 42 minutes a goalmouth scramble with Evans prominent defender Zak Martin fell on the ball in front of his keeper Nicky Draper and was cautioned for deliberate handball by the replacement referee with the resultant penalty kick firmly struck home by Steve Tames to rack up his 14th goal for the season with six of them coming from the spot.
Tames went close two minutes later with a clever shot that clipped the outside of the post. Minutes 45 and 45+1 then saw Will Jones score his 7th and 8th goals of the season. The first when he got the slightest flick from a peach of a cross from Dale whilst his second came when clever timing left the defence in his wake before he finished with aplomb.
Five minutes into the second period and it was 5-0, Owen Dale working himself into great space enabling him to send in a low shot past Draper from just outside the box.
Matty Devine, having gone down heavily on the plastic, was very sensibly replaced by Danny McKenna.
Albion made it six in the 62nd minute following a lovely move that involved Tames, Evans and Tom Owens who laid the ball off to Owen Dale whom curled the ball into the net off the far right post.
Perhaps not surprisingly Witton then took their foot off the gas that allowed the home team to put a few attacking moves of their own in and they were duly rewarded when skipper Danny O'Callaghan netted from distance with five minutes remaining. Right back Tyler Lyttle then gave the score-line a slightly better look for the Royals when sending the ball across Calvin Hare and in off the far left post.
ROYALS: Draper; Lyttle, Martin, Webb, Smith, Kelly, Steele, O'Callaghan, Howarth (Richards 79), Birch (Howell 54) & Singh (Flint 60). Subs not used: Probert & Beresford. Cautioned: Martin (deliberate handball) & Steele (foul)
ALBION: Hare; Haywood, Devine (McKenna 54), Wilson, Ryan (Evans 25), Foley, Dale, Owens, Hopley, Jones (Lingouba 76) & Tames. Sub not used: Neild
Many thanks to Vijay Anthwal for the above photo and the four videos supplied