Hardwicke too strong for Barometrics
Hardwicke 3 FC Barometrics 1
Jack Watts' 11th goal of the season was a mere consolation as Hardwicke leapfrogged FC Barometrics to go top of the Northern Senior League Division Two table and send their opponents down to third.
Baros boss Steve Cleal was forced into one change from the team that beat Bourton Rovers last week with captain Laurence Perkins missing. Gary Cornwall came into the team in the centre of the park.
Hardwicke started the game well, moving the ball quickly and playing some slick football on a sticky surface and they very nearly took the lead in the tenth minute when a cross from the left was turned over the bar from close range.
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The home side then forced Rob Sherwood into a smart save with a shot from distance as their early dominance continued.
Baros found it tough to get into their rhythm with the ball not sticking up top and the constant pressure on the back four meant that they had to dig deep and show plenty of resolve.
Midway through the half Dan Thompson started to get on the ball and try to make things happy and his midfield partner Cornwall played a superb 30-yard pass who found Watts a few yards out but he failed to control the ball when well placed.
Thompson himself very nearly gave Baros the lead when following some build up play between Watts, Lewis Peters and Craig Jones who laid the ball back to Thompson who fired over the bar from 18 yards.
This proved crucial as moments later the home side broke away and forced a corner from the resulting corner Jones lost his man who headed the ball down between Rob Sherwood’s legs and the ball was turned home from close range to give Hardwicke the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Baros were dealt a blow five mins into the second half when Ash Murray was forced off through injury which made him a doubt for the game and was replaced by Paul Hockey making his 250th appearance for the Baros.
It would not be a happy occasion though as the Baros failed to clear the ball Hardwicke’s captain fired home from 20 yards out past the helpless Sherwood to double their lead on 55 minutes.
Baros tried to get back into the game and hit the bar twice first from a well struck Dan Thompson free-kick then Jones headed against the bar from close range when he got on the end of a Jonny Howley cross.
Again it seemed it would not be Baros' day when a few minutes after almost getting back into the game the game was effectively over when 2-0 became 3-0 a long ball over the top was not dealt with and the forward raced through and lobbed the ball over the advancing Sherwood.
Cleal looked to change things round putting on young Haydn Bessent for his debut and the Baros finally pulled a go back with ten minutes to go when Watts cut in from the left and drilled the ball into the keeper’s right hand corner.
This proved to be a mere consolation as Hardwicke saw the game out and but for a superb one on one save by Sherwood could even have extended their lead.