Manchester Central came out 7-2 victors in an entertaining spectacle at the Wright Robinson Sports College versus bottom-of-the-table East Manchester on Saturday.
The comprehensive victory saw Paul McGuire’s side rise up to third. Central know that winning their last four matches in the Manchester Premier Division will ensure the league title with 62 points.
Manchester Central started the game their usual energetic selves. Cory Knight was played through in the ninth minute but his low shot whistled just past the far post.
It would not be long before Central’s top scorer would get on the scoresheet though. Paul Riley gathered the ball in defence, made a driving run forward and clipped a delightful ball into the path of Cory Knight, who chipped the East Manchester keeper to make it 1-0 in the 10th minute.
Dan Burns was unlucky not to make it two nil just six minutes later after a jinxing run through the East Manchester defence but the angle was too tight for the forward.
It would not be long before another chance came his way. Dan Burns picked up the ball, played a one two with Cory Knight to get passed the defence and slotted home with ease in the 23rd minute to make it two nil.
East Manchester, who finished third last season, offered their first real attack of the game in the 29th minute after a fantastic pass out from their centre back split Central’s defence and was squeezed home by number 12.
Paul McGuire’s side continued to apply the pressure and reinstated their two goal lead just three minutes later. Cory Knight saw his shot saved but Buba Sakiliba was on-hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net and make it 3-1.
Cory Knight grabbed his second of the day with a left-footed shot at the near post in the 40th minute to make it 4-1 to Central.
Manchester Central came out with the same intensity in the second half. Josh Frith, who was not having his best day in front of goal, intercepted a pass from East Manchester’s number three, outpaced their defence and unselfishly set up Dan Burns for his second goal and Central’s fifth of the day.
East Manchester would pull back a second goal in the 57th minute after number 14 got on the end of a header and tapped in from close range to make it 5-2 with half an hour to play.
Dan Burns was unfortunate not to get his hatrick hitting the woodwork twice in the space of two minutes. Jeremy Tunzele, who came off the bench, teed him up from 18 yards out in the 61st minute but his shot cannoned off the crossbar. The second chance saw Marcello Ahrin flash a ball across the face of goal but the angle was just too tight and Burns saw his shot smash off the post from close range.
The match quietened with 20 minutes to go in an end-to-end game as both teams started to tire. Steve Ledjon replaced Marcello Ahrin in midfield in the 70th minute.
Cory Knight would grab his hatrick late on in the game. Josh Frith played in Dario Germano who passed it into the striker who turned his defender and slotted home with his left foot in the 88th minute.
Just one minute later, Josh Frith chipped a ball into Knight who beat the offside trap and placed the ball between the keepers legs to grab his fourth of the day and Central’s seventh.
Here are Paul McGuire’s thoughts on the resounding victory:
“We have a couple of really tough games in our run in.
“That [Heyside away] is probably the hardest on paper but we will give it everything we’ve got and see how we get on next week.”
— Manchester Central FC (@mcrcentralfc) March 23, 2019