Saturday, March 25, 2006

HOW often Worcester City will get to wear their ghastly third strip, nobody quite knows.

But the green and yellow ensemble -- colours that look sexy on the back of Brazilians but have City's players as running advertisements for cheese and onion crisps -- made a winning entrance.

With crushing effectiveness, City slammed four well-worked goals to send hapless Hednesford nearer to a Southern League return.

So despite attracting the fashion police, perhaps Worcester should stick to their new kit if it helps produce performances and results like this.

That is double-figures for the season against the rock-bottom Pitmen, following City's 6-2 thrashing last November when striker Leon Kelly celebrated his first hat-trick for the club.

Kelly was on target again at Keys Park, nailing down victory with the final goal after Adam Webster had earlier scored twice and George Clegg smashed a 25-yard pearler.

A sixth away victory in eight keeps alive City's play-off ambitions, but Droylsden's 2-1 triumph over Harrogate Town does not help one bit.

Coming on the back of St George's Lane defeats to Moor Green and Stalybridge, two-goal hero Webster was delighted to collect three points.

"It was a great win, to bounce back from two defeats," said Webster. "We can't complain. It's a clean sheet and we've scored four goals. It was a good result all round.

"There was some good finishing from us -- Cleggy with his 25-yarder and I was pleased with my two.

"The first one was a good move, with Nick Colley heading the ball back from where it came from -- as it says in the coaching book -- and I got in front of the defender.

"The second from a corner is something we've worked on in training. I've been waiting all season to put one of those away. That's why we were a bit overjoyed on that one.

"Then Leon took his shot early, and that goal killed the game."

On a tricky, pudding of a pitch -- though not as poor a condition as the Lane -- City clicked into gear from the beginning, stringing together fine passing moves from midfield.

It was from a patient and purposeful build-up that the visitors broke the deadlock on 12 minutes.

Adam Burley, looking more and more confident in each game, delivered a high cross from the left flank that found Colley at the back post.

Colley had plenty of time to pick his spot, but he unselfishly headed back across goal to Webster who comfortably beat Gary Hateley from four yards.

Taken back, poor Pitmen's organisation went out of the window and, within three minutes, Clegg doubled their trouble.

Collecting the ball 35 yards out from Chris Smith -- who starred in an unfamiliar central midfield role -- Clegg was given too much time and room to shoot.

The expert left-footer needed no further invitation, beating Hateley with a sumptuous dipping drive from his 'weaker' right boot.

Hednesford missed two excellent opportunities to reply. Lee Barrow struck a tame free-kick, on the fringes of City's box, into Danny McDonnell's hands and the same player then fired a fizzing, low shot across goal and wide of the upright.

City snuffed out any chance of a comeback by putting the contest to bed with two goals immediately after the break.

Within 30 seconds of the re-start, Webster was unmarked to bullet home Rob Warner's corner, for his 10th league goal of the campaign.

Nobody had chance to catch breath as Kelly then quickly wrapped up proceedings. The frontman was threaded clear of the Pitmen defence and, taking his shot surprisingly early, found the bottom corner as Hateley got his angles wrong.

An untroubled scoreline allowed Andy Preece to throw on youngsters Gary Walker and Troy Wood, the latter close to a fifth when firing over Burley's low centre.

City: McDonnell, Warner, Burley, Pearce, Thompson, Lyttle, Colley (Walker 58), Smith (Warmer 78), Kelly, Webster (Wood 62), Clegg. Subs (not used): Preece, Hines.

Attendance: 510