RICHMOND TOWN extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to ten games with this comfortable 5-0 win at home to Hartlepool FC.
Scott Ryan scored twice and there were goals for Kalumn Holbrook, Ben Darville and Mike Layfield, but three or four others came close to getting their names on the scoresheet in what was a very one-sided affair.
Ryan’s 11th minute effort from a Holbrook cross was the only goal of the first half, though the Dalesmen’s pressure on the Hartlepool goal was relentless. Five corners in three minutes towards the end of the half saw one Holbrook shot headed onto the bar, a fingertip save from another and a Sean Radford header that went just wide of the left upright.
Hartlepool initially looked a lot livelier in the second half, with one long range effort easily saved by Richmond keeper Adam Cunningham, followed by another Cunningham save low down to his left and then a free header which was well wide.
But once Layfield had made it 2-0 in the 51st minute from an excellent Ryan ball into the area, the visitors crumbled. Two minutes later, another Layfield shot was parried straight into the path of Darville, who virtually walked the ball into the net. And before the hour, Holbrook calmly made it 4-0 from close range after a flickon from Darville.
Josh Lincoln came close with a glancing header while Danny Allen, making his debut as a substitute, hit the post with ten minutes remaining.
And Liam Darville twisted and turned on the edge of the area before letting fly with a shot which was well held by the busy Hartlepool ‘keeper.
The best move of the match didn’t actually result in a goal. Richard Thompson’s pinpoint ball from the half way line found Liam Darville who flicked it on to Ryan, but his shot was saved.
It was Ryan who scored Richmond’s fifth, when he dispossessed a Hartlepool defender on the left flank, then ran 20 yards with the ball before unleashing an unstoppable drive from the edge of the six yard box. And he came close to getting his hat-trick late-on, but was denied again by the ‘keeper.
On this sort of performance, it’s not surprising that so many of the Richmond Town team are selected for the Wearside League Representative XI. And that means Richmond have a week off this Saturday as the Wearside League take on the Humber League for a place in the FA Inter-League Cup Semi-Final. The winning League goes to San Marino next summer to represent England at European level.