Lawrence hits a hat-trick as United cruise
CHELTENHAM UNITED 4 CHELTENHAM CS IV 1
CHELTENHAM United made it eight wins from eight in an entertaining game in Cheltenham League Division Six.
Cheltenham Civil Service started the brighter with their more experienced side passing the ball around well and benefiting from the experience of a couple of their first XI players who played after their game was called off.
Service started well and only some fine defending from Martyn New stopped them from having more of a sight of goal.
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United made the breakthrough in controversial fashion just after the half hour as the ball was played over the top of the high Civil Service backline who appealed for offside against Lawrence.
But he did not chase the ball, and Gilbert ran through from midfield before squaring the ball for Steve New to side-foot home.
Service appealed to the referee but it was in vain.
United started to attack and appeared to be awarded a penalty kick when New was free of the last defender and crudely chopped down in the box only for the linesman to flag saying that it was a dive.
Service began the second half with all guns blazing looking for an equaliser and got it on the hour-mark when after passing the ball down the right wing their forward squared it for his strike partner who tapped in.
United tried to hit back as Meadows headed a Dymock corner at goal just to see the keeper make a last ditch save.
United regained the lead when the ball deflected into the Civil Service area with Lawrence quickest to react to skilfully beat the keeper.
Lawrence who had been running the Civil Service defence ragged all afternoon then got his second as he received a pass from New before lashing the ball into the far corner of the goal via a slight deflection.
United then survived a scare as Marshall seemed to clip the heels of the Civil Service forward who saw his penalty appeals waved away.
Lawrence was hungry for a hat-trick and came close to bagging his third, only to see a shot hit the inside of the far post and roll along the line and out to safety.
Lawrence did get the hat-trick his performance deserved following a pass from Marshall which he finished off to make it seven goals in two games.
United brought on Brookes and Jenkins for injured duo Jon and Colin Marriott and it nearly paid off straight away as Jenkins slotted a delightful ball through for Lawrence that dissected the Civil Service defence perfectly although the defender managed to clear this time.