Manchester Central ran out comfortable winners in a dominant 9-2 victory over Hollinwood in their Manchester Football League away fixture on Saturday.
Central found the back of the net four times in the first half at Chapel Road 3G, all through top scorer Cory Knight – who made it 19 goals for the season.
The second half saw much of the same attacking dominance from Central, as five more goals found their way past Hollinwood’s goalkeeper. The home side did manage two goals of their own.
Right from the beginning the attacking intentions of Central caused their opponents problems, with an early fumble by the home keeper and a clearance off the line encouraging the visitors.
Hollinwood tried to force their way into the game but a good recovering tackle by Liam Ellis denied a shooting opportunity and goalkeeper Jordan Hadlow, man of the match in Central’s last game, produced a good save to keep the scores level.
The opening goal of the game came shortly after when, in the 18th minute, when Hollinwood cleared a shot off the line and Cory Knight pounced on the rebound for his 16th goal of the season.
Central had several more chances in the following twenty minutes, but a combination of misses and saves saw the scores remain close. Hollinwood blazed a shot over in that time too.
However, in the 38th minute Knight out-muscled the Hollinwood defence and struck a sweet effort past the goalkeeper to double Central’s lead.
Two minutes later, Knight had completed the hat-trick, driving into the box and striking low into the far corner.
Central were starting to go up through the gears, and in the 44th minute a lovely passing move from the team allowed Knight to sweep home from the edge of the six-yard box and make it four.
The second half started with Hollinwood trying to force a way back into the match. Central cleared the ball off their line and Hadlow produced a good save to keep the scores level, but he could do nothing when Greg Boyunga’s effort took a wicked deflection and looped over his head in the 57th minute.
Just four minutes later, though, Central had regained the momentum in the match and captain Paul Riley rose highest to head home a free-kick. It was his first goal of the season.
Another Central player then added his first goal of the season, when Kallum McDonough broke free of the defence. His first effort struck the post, but fell back kindly for him and he made no mistake with the second.
It was 7-1 shortly after, when in the 74th minute a clever dummy on a cross opened up acres of space for Elvis Amoakwa and he slotted confidently past the outrushing Hollinwood keeper.
Hadlow was then called into action once more in the Central goal but was equal to the effort, producing a great save.
From the resulting Hollinwood corner, Central battled back and won the ball. Lamin Baldeh, with pace to burn, raced past the Hollinwood defence and slotted coolly through the legs of the keeper for his first goal of the season and Central’s eighth of the match.
Hollinwood restored a small amount more pride to the scoreline in the 81st minute when they muscled their way through the Central midfield and Julius Mbu netted a low, driven strike from the edge of the box.
The home side came close again, shortly after, but dragged the shot wide of the far post.
Central ended the match in style, when Baldeh broke into the box in the 90th minute, rounded the keeper and played the ball back to Mauro Mendes, who simply couldn’t miss from six yards out.
As Central celebrated netting their ninth goal of the match, referee David Burton brought proceeding to an end in what was a very dominant display by Central.