Jack Paterson became the latest Sponne striker to score a hat-trick as Sponne Sixth Form achieved a massive win over their old rivals Campion in the second game of the league season.
Going 2-0 up in the first half, Sponne turned the fixture into a rout after the interval with another tremendous attacking display, a Paterson chip shot being a highlight along with Jack Swales’ slick finish.
Sponne were expecting to be tested much more by Campion than they were in their recent 9-3 victory over Silverstone UTC and the assumption was initially proved correct as they faced a tough opening half hour, with Campion frequently on the attack. The visitors had the better of the early exchanges and forced Sponne to defend in numbers, with Paterson an isolated figure up front. But the tireless ball-chasing of Sponne captain Matt Woods coupled with Ryan Smith’s much-needed physical presence and control in midfield proved instrumental as Sponne withstood Campion’s early pressure.
As the first half continued, Sponne began to work their way into the game and ask some questions of the Campion defence. Paterson was caught narrowly offside when through on goal while Josh Murphy saw his shot saved by Campion goalkeeper Tomkins. Campion themselves then nearly got the opening goal when their striker Turay got the better of the home defence and found himself with only Sponne goalkeeper Sam Butler to beat- Butler produced a smart save to keep the game goalless.
Campion were made to rue their missed opportunity when Murphy put Sponne ahead minutes later. A long upfield ball from left-back Toby Gruncell was latched onto by Paterson, who outpaced Campion’s retreating defence as he tore into the opposition box before squaring the ball across to Murphy, who tapped in from close range.
Sponne once again had Butler to thank for keeping the visitors at bay moments later as Campion captain Moss struck a powerful shot from 30 yards out which was flying into the top of the home side’s goal before Butler tipped it over the crossbar to the relief of his teammates.
A second Sponne goal was needed to consolidate their advantage before half-time and the Murphy-Paterson attacking partnership produced just that as Murphy won the ball in his own half and bombed forward before slipping a well-worked pass through the Campion defence to put the ball at Paterson’s feet with just the goalkeeper to beat. Paterson made no error as he stroked it past Tomkins with a composed finish to give Sponne a 2-0 lead as the half-time whistle sounded.
What had looked a close game after half an hour now seemed an eminently winnable one to Sponne Coach Mr Cornelius, who decided to make a number of early substitutions to rest some key players ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Moulton College. Ryan Smith, Callum Anderson and Josh Murphy were all brought off near the interval to keep their legs fresh for the game in two days’ time.
Campion were quick out of the blocks in the second half but Butler again came to the rescue as he pulled off a terrific double save after Sponne’s defence were caught out by an inswinging corner kick. Butler first denied Turay at close range before parrying Moss’ strike from the rebound, with Sponne then managing to clear the ball away.
Jack Swales regained the initiative for the home side by receiving the ball on the halfway line and then making a goal all for himself as he motored into the visitors’ box, scoring with a classy low finish through the legs of Tomkins to put Sponne 3-0 up. However, Turay was quick to pull a goal back for Campion at the other end with an audacious scissor kick from four yards out to give the visitors some hope going into final half hour.
But both Swales and Turay’s fine finishes were to be outdone by a remarkable piece of football from Jack Paterson. The Sponne striker won the ball on the edge of the box, took one look up and scooped a sensational chip shot over the two Campion centre-backs and past Tomkins, putting Sponne into a 4-1 lead with ten minutes left to play and undeniably scoring the goal of the game in the process.
Paterson’s wonder-goal had assured Sponne of victory but that didn’t stop them from increasing their lead as Campion faded badly in the closing stages. Paterson got his hat-trick with a simple tap-in before the ever-industrious striker Elliot Hutton got his name on the scoresheet by slotting in a rebound from a Tomkins save to make it 6-1 at the final whistle.
This Sponne team have now won both of their first two league matches in superb style, and will take heart from the fact that to a man they all raised their game in the second half to put a well-organised Campion team to the sword. Next, they travel to Moulton College for their first away outing of the campaign, and if their current performance level can be sustained, three wins from three seems a very realistic possibility.
SPONNE (4-2-3-1): Sam Butler, Toby Gruncell, Ewan Fotheringham, Callum Anderson (sub Luke Warwick HT), Chris Foden (sub Michael Rapson HT), Matt Thomas, Ryan Smith (sub Elliot Hutton 35’), Josh Murphy (sub Harry Wakeling 55’), Matt Woods (captain), Jack Swales, Jack Paterson
Coaches: Mr Cornelius & Mr Trusler
CAMPION (4-4-2): Tomkins, Murphy, Kehoe, Gooch, Batterham, Scott, Clarke, Phelps, Toseland, Moss (captain), Turay
Coach: Mr Hawkey
REFEREE: Mr Steve Edwards
MAN OF THE MATCH: Josh Murphy (Sponne)
Match Report by Toby Foster, Photos by Josh Margan