Catholic United 6 - 0 Great Baddow
By Thomas Kearney
HOOPS’ GOOD RUN CONTINUES WITH ANOTHER HOLLINGSWORTH TREBLE
Catholic United made it five league wins on the bounce after beating Great Baddow 6-0 at the Len Salmon Stadium.
Premier Division top scorer Tom Hollingsworth continued his ruthless streak in front of goal - 22 for the campaign - whilst Thomas Kearney (2) & Tony Jacobs completed the scoring.
With availability improved from last weekend due to the challenges of playing over the festive period - Patrick Kearney & Brad Vaughan returned in defence whilst the three substitutes provided cover in all areas. Notable absentees were Jamie Salmon & Louis Robinson which demonstrates the strength in depth Dan Trenkel’s side possess as the business end of the season approaches.
Nonetheless, the hosts started hesitantly before finding their stride when Thomas Kearney opened the scoring after 15 minutes - Hollingsworth’s lobbed attempt from 25 yards rebounded off the crossbar for Kearney to place home first time.
Hollingsworth then beat the keeper for a second time, but this time with greater success to round off a delightful team move. Breaking forward with the ball from right back, Patrick Kearney played in Jacobs who then squared for the striker to convert.
Catholic extended their lead further five minutes before half time when Patrick assisted his brother - turning on the byline, the winger cut back onto his left foot to beat the goalkeeper at the near post.
Although the scoreline flattered the home side at the break, there was no ease up during the second period when Trenkel’s shot was handled in the area & Hollingsworth doubled his tally for the afternoon.
Jacobs deservedly got on the scoresheet when connecting with Mark Baptist’s left sided cross to apply the deftest of touches to deceive Baddow’s anticipating number one.
Hollingsworth rounded off the scoring; combining with Callum Matthews - the 19-year old retaining his place in midfield following a fine debut at Springfield - whose inch perfect through ball allowed the striker to net his fourth hat-trick of the season.
However, the hosts were made to work for their clean sheet in the final 10 minutes when having made all their changes, substitute Billy Shulver - having just returned from a spell on the sidelines - was forced off injured moments after coming on. The midfielder strained his MCL & is expected to be out for the next month.
The visitors wasted a glorious opportunity to salvage a consolation goal from the penalty spot, before Louis Godwin-Green produced an outstanding double save shortly before the end for his sixth zero-against of the season.
With a busy January schedule, next up for the Hoops is a home match against Rayleigh Town on Wednesday night.
All the best for the rest of the season, Great Baddow & we wish Billy a speedy recovery!