By Andrew McDonnell
Three players scored braces as Blyth AFC thrashed Wallsend Boys Club 9-1 in a pre-season friendly at Coach Lane Sports Centre.
Craig McFarlane and Liam Hudson handed the Braves the lead, but Wallsend pulled a goal back after Kieron Crawford volleyed into the top corner.
Dan Wilson got on the scoresheet just before the half-hour mark and again six minutes before half-time.
Dylan Williamson and Trialist A asserted Blyth’s dominance further, with the latter curling a free-kick into the top corner.
Michael Chilton scored two goals and Williamson added a further goal inside the final four minutes of the game – the Braves have now scored 24 goals in four games.
Jon McDonald and Ian Skinner’s side had won three of their four pre-season games going into the Wallsend friendly and immediately started on the front foot.
Marc Lancaster’s pull-back towards the penalty spot found Hudson, who let the ball run across his body before driving wide.
The hosts broke out quickly on 14 minutes and the ball made its way to Adam Forster, who shifted the ball onto his right foot before drawing a brilliant save from the ‘keeper.
From the resulting corner, Blyth made the most of their pressure and broke the deadlock on 15 minutes.
After a scramble in the Wallsend penalty area, which saw the ball pinball around for quite some time, the ball broke out to McFarlane, who curled neatly into the bottom corner.
Blyth’s second goal of the game arrived on 26 minutes when Cameron Fenton’s shot, from the right, was pushed into the danger area and Hudson was on hand to tap home from close range.
However, Wallsend were given a huge break and pulled a goal back under a minute later.
Lancaster’s header went straight to Crawford on the edge of the area and the Wallsend player volleyed sweetly into the top corner.
The visitors’ celebrations didn’t last long as Blyth had a chance to restore their two-goal lead after Wilson was brought down in the area a minute later.
The striker stepped up and took the penalty himself, smashing into the roof of the net and giving the ‘keeper no chance.
Summer-signing Curtis Coppen channelled his inner Lionel Messi just after the half-hour mark. The centre-half went on a mazing run from the halfway line before striking wide.
McFarlane was inches away from netting his second of the game, sending a rasping drive across goal and inches wide of the far post.
Wilson bagged his second goal on 39 minutes, the striker latched onto a pass and produced a great finish, over the ‘keeper and into the net.
Six changes were made by McDonald and Skinner at half-time with Trialist A, Jack Walker, Sean McRoberts, Bobby Taylor, Williamson and Chilton all coming on.
Walker tested the ‘keeper immediately after the restart, but the next clear opening didn’t arrive until 58 minutes.
Trialist A whipped a corner into the box, Chilton rose well and glanced a header across and just wide of the far post.
Chilton was involved in the action once again, six minutes later, as the striker dispossessed a Wallsend player deep in his own half before releasing McRoberts down the right.
McRoberts’ cross to the back post wasn’t dealt with and Williamson latched onto the mistake and prodded the ball into the net.
Six minutes later, the Braves had goal number six on the board. Arguably the goal of the evening as Trialist A stepped up and curled a free-kick into the top corner.
Chilton glanced another header inches wide on 76 minutes before a flurry of goals rounded off the game for the hosts.
McRoberts’ through ball, down the right, was played into the box first-time by Williamson and Chilton tapped home at the back post.
Williamson had his second of the game under a minute later. An exquisite pass from Taylor dissected the Wallsend defence and the striker finished across goal and into the bottom corner.
McRoberts’ pull-back was fired over by Trialist A, but the Braves did add a ninth goal to their tally in the dying embers of the game.
Chilton, who was Blyth’s top-scorer last season, raced through one-on-one and slotted the ball past the ‘keeper to round off the evening.
Blyth AFC: Chris Bannon, Marc Lancaster (Trialist A, 46), Liam Gillesphey, Curtis Coppen, Craig McFarlane (Jack Walker, 46), David Henderson, Adam Forster, Liam Hudson (Sean McRoberts, 46), David Robinson (Dylan Williamson, 46), Cameron Fenton (Bobby Taylor, 46), Dan Wilson (Michael Chilton, 46)
Goals: 1-0, 15 min, McFarlane; 2-0, 26 min, Hudson; 2-1, 27 min, Crawford; 3-1, 28 min, Wilson; 4-1, 39 min, Wilson; 5-1, 64 min, Williamson; 6-1, 70 min, Trialist A; 7-1, 86 min, Chilton; 8-1, 87 min, Williamson; 9-1, 90 min, Chilton
Referee: Peter Osgood
Assistants: Keith Scoffham and Michael Moore
Photo: Chris Chambers/CJC Photo