Shirland Miners Welfare welcomed back Steven Boot, Carl Rice, Gary Bacon and Darren Goodall to take on Codnor Miners on Saturday and it was old head Goodall who made the big impact for Shirland as they mounted a stirring fightback in the Matlock and District Football League.
The big centre back looked cool in possession and dangerous on the ball, despite many years out of the game. Shirland though took some time to settle and found themselves two goals down within 25 minutes. This, though, was the kickstart Shirland needed and, with a few tactical changes, Shirland came alive.
Nathan Flint stole the show up front with some sexy one-touch football, scoring his first hat-trick for Shirland in what can only be described as the ultimate show from the young lad. Carl Rice scored one of his trademark thunderbolts, accompanied by a stunning goals from Goodall, Boot and Bacon to make the final score Codnor Miners 3 Shirland MW 7.
In Division Two, the impressive Black Hippo were in a top of the table clash with AFC South Wingfield and Hippo expected a robust competition against one of their closest competitors for the Division Two title. As it transpired, South Wingfield gave a better account of themselves than the score suggested, going very close on several occasions only to find Hippo’s keeper Luke Travis in fine form.
Hippo took an early lead with a fantatsic low shot across goal from star striker Joe Taylor but the goal appeared to kick-start Wingfield and they pressured the Hippo’s back line, creating several half openings that Parker, West, Chamberlain and Davision worked hard to snuff out.
Cameron Gill was again a menace for the Hippo, causing havoc amongst the Wingfield defence and it was Gill who gave Hippo a two-goal cushion from the penalty spot.
Soon after the re-start, Chamberlain powered a clinical header into the net from an uphill corner that allowed Hippo to relax and really start to show off their passing play.
The fourth and final goal showed precisely why Black Hippo sit proudly atop of Division Two as a free-flowing passing move that involved all of their attacking players tore the Wingfield defence apart and resulted in a simple tap-in for the influential Joe Taylor.
The result affirms Hippo’s dominance so far this season with six wins from six, conceding only two goals.
Derbyshire Cup action saw Shirebrook Rangers take on Chesterfield Town, a game that went right down to the wire, extra time being needed to determine a winner in which Chesterfield booked their place in the next round with a 2-0 win. Ashover put up a strong fight against Wirksworth Town, also in the derbyshire cup, but lost out to a late goal.
AFC Lea Hollway will now play Shirland Miners Welfare in the next round after their stunning 5-3 victory against Edale.
In the last of the games, and back in Division Two, C.C.S Barley Mow took all three points with a well-fought and well-deserved win against Wirksworth Albion.