Morgan Williams hammered a hat-trick as North Leigh started their Southern League Division 1 South & West campaign in spectacular fashion with a 6-2 victory at home to Mangotsfield at Eynsham Park.
The scoreline flattered the home side, but defensive lapses by Mangotsfield and the dismissal of their captain Neil Arndale midway through the second half were their downfall.
With new signings keeper Matt Bulman, midfielder Callum McNish and the re-signed Matt Woodley in the starting line-up, the Millers took the lead after eight minutes.
Aaron Woodley’s pass found his brother Matt, whose pinpoint cross found Williams who scored from close range.
They made it 2-0 when Kieran Sanders’s cross deflected off Mangotsfield centre-back for an own goal.
The visitors pulled a goal back after 38 minutes when a clearance by home defender Andy Gunn was charged down and the ball ran loose to Steve Davies, who clipped ball into the far corner.
Two minutes later, however, Sanders restored North Leigh’s two-goal lead through a penalty after Lamb was adjudged to have handled a goalbound shot.
After the break, the Millers made it 4-1 when Gunn hoofed the ball upfield where Mangotsfield defender Tom Parrinello miscontrolled the ball, gifting it to Williams who fired home.
Despite this setback Mangotsfield kept pushing forward and were rewarded when striker Lewis Powell stabbed the ball home from close range on 55 minutes.
The game was settled on 63 minutes when Elliott Osborne-Ricketts scored from another penalty after Arndale tugged Williams back and was dismissed.
With both teams introducing subtitutes, Williams achieved his hat-trick in the 89th minute as he intercepted a back pass by the visitors’ Omar Lindsay, took the ball around the keeper and scored from an acute angle.
North Leigh: Bulman, Else, M Woodley, McNish (Bowles 64), Gunn, Westlake, Sanders, Hole, Williams, A Woodley (Ingram 74), Osborne-Ricketts. Subs not used: Eadle, Caton.
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