Brad Martin scored a hattrick as Hellenic Premier side Longlevens advanced into the Quarter Finals of the Banbury Litho Floodlit Cup, beating Hereford Lads Club 6-3 having been 4-0 up after a dazzling first 25 minutes.
Martin nearly opened the scoring inside the opening minute, but his shot was saved by Steven Bell in goal for Hereford Lads Club and after the original corner was cleared for another one, Ed Smyllie got the run on his man and headed home to break the deadlock.
Bell was then caught out by Martin’s quick thinking on 9 minutes when the forward was found in space 30 yards from goal. Martin turned and clipped the ball up over Bell who was nearly 10 yards off his line, to make it 2-0.
Two became three for the hosts just after the quarter of an hour mark when Longlevens broke with pace and it resulted with Isaac Johns chesting down for Martin to volley in via a deflection.
Hereford Lads Club were all over the place defensively and were caught out again on 25 minutes when they gifted Harry Emmett and Shaun O’Connor all the time and space in the world to work a short corner and cross for Jack Cornell to glance a header into the bottom corner.
Longlevens were 4-0 up and they weren’t really out of first gear. Lads Club grew into the contest and pulled one back just before the half hour. A free kick from the left hand side was bundled in at the back post with spectators saying it was an Ed Smyllie own goal, however the defender disagrees.
The second half started a little bit slower than the action of the first half and Lads Club should have been right back in it when the ball was drilled in from the left and Adam Newbury somehow missed from within the six yard box with the goal at his mercy.
Within five minutes Longlevens punished their visitors with Shaun O’Connor curling home a free kick from 25 yards after Martin was fouled.
Martin completed his hattrick when Harry Emmett slipped him in one and one and the former Bishops Cleeve striker tucked the ball home to notch his third and Longlevens’ sixth.
Longlevens took off Harry Emmett and Martin with Saturday’s trip to Flackwell Heath in their minds and it saw them lose their intensity up front and Lads Club took full advantage.
Hockey twisted one way then the other on the edge of the box to slam home a second for the Hellenic Division One West side before he was then brought down in the box for a penalty.
Newbury stepped up to see his spotkick and then subsequent follow up saved by goalkeeper Kane Winman, who was returning to action after recovering from a broken collarbone.
Winman could do nothing from the resulting corner, as the ball was cleared before being volleyed into the back of the net from 25 yards by substitute Jamie Bell.
In the end Longlevens fully deserved the win and will disappointed that the scoreline doesn’t look as comfortable as it should have but credit to Lads Club who kept going til the very end.
Longlevens: Winman, Dunn, Long, Smyllie, Haswell (G Callinan 86′), Merrick, Johns, O’Connor, Emmett (T Callinan 71′), Martin (Emery 69′), Cornell
Subs Not Used: Barnett, Johnstone
Hereford Lads Club: S Bell, Bowley, Lancett, Wilding, Jones, Cuthbertson, Lear, Newbury, Cowley-Hair, Hockey, Hancocks
Subs: J Bell, Bendall, Moon
Severn Sport Man of the Match – Brad Martin (Longlevens)