Match Report: Manchester Central 5-2 Bolton County

Four goals from Cory Knight helped Manchester Central to a convincing 5-2 win over Bolton County in the Gilgryst Cup at the Manchester College.

Knight was the standout player in a wonderful Central performance who returned to form after two successive defeats.

Central were dominant from the start, and could have taken the lead early on but Knight’s header was denied by the crossbar.

There were numerous other opportunities for Central to create an opening in the first quarter of the game, but the final ball was letting them down.

However, a moment of brilliance from Dario Germano would break the deadlock. The defender swinging in a corner that County keeper Charlie Helsby could only punch into the back of his own net, to give Central a deserved lead.

County would not be behind for long though, Liam Short poking the ball home after Central keeper Ben Jupp had made an excellent initial save.

Despite the setback, Central continued to play with attacking intent and were rewarded with a penalty in the 31st minute when Knight was bundled over inside the box. The striker would step up to take the spot-kick and smashed the ball straight down the middle of the goal as Central went ahead once more.

Knight would have his second goal of the afternoon just before half-time, intercepting a poor pass and sliding the ball past Helsby in the County goal.

Not long after the interval Knight had another, gathering a loose ball and again showing composure to complete his hat-trick.

Three goals in 18 minutes for Knight had completely turned the game in Central’s favour.

At 4-1 Central had all but booked their place in the next round but they would have to play the final 35 minutes with 10 men as Germano was sent off for violent conduct.

Being a man down you might have expected Central to play much of the rest of the match on the back foot. Though Paul McGuire’s side would continue to press on as Knight added his fourth goal of the day.

After a slick move the ball found its way to Mauro Mendes who played a fantastic ball to Knight who clinically finished. The score now 5-1 with 68 minutes played.

The rest of the match passed by with little incident but County did add a late consolation goal. Jordan McLoughlin’s free-kick cutting the deficit to 5-2.

Though it was not enough and Central deservedly completed victory, a fine effort ahead of the return to league action next weekend.

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