Airbus UK Broughton FC broke three club Welsh Premier records in this 5-0 hammering of strugglers Haverfordwest County. Striker Ian Sheridan (pictured) became the first Wingmaker to hit a top-flight hat-trick in the biggest margin of victory recorded by the Wingmakers after 7 seasons at this level. This fourth consecutive victory also gives the Wingmakers their longest winning run in the Welsh Premier.
The Wingmakers have now recorded clean sheets in their last two games as well as having scored 5 goals in each of their last two home games. The matchday squad for this game also featured 6 players under the age of 21 (five teenagers) which points to a very bright future at the Airfield.
In the opening quarter of an hour of this game there was little hint of what was to come. It got off to a gritty start with the visitors scrapping for survival, neither side settling with a lack of goalmouth action at either end. Wingmakers centre-half Gavin Cadwallader picked up a nasty head injury which left Airbus down to 10 men for 10 minutes while he received the necessary treatment.
Bizarrely it was while they were a man down that the Wingmakers took control of the game with two goals in as many minutes. A Phil Clarke free-kick forced goalkeeper Neil Thomas into a double-save - from the initial set-piece and a follow-up shot from Paul McManus. From the resulting corner on 19 minutes Ian Sheridan rose highest in the area to head the Wingmakers into a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later the Wingmakers were awarded a free-kick in an almost identical position just outside the penalty area. Phil Clarke again stepped up and curled it towards the right of the area. The delivery just missed the head of Danny Desormeaux but bounced in front of the outstretched Thomas and into the back of the net, making it 2-0 to the Wingmakers on 21 minutes.
On 24 minutes Haverfordwest's Gareth Elliott was booked by which time Cadwallader had returned to bring the Wingmakers back up to 11 men. Thomas was forced to tip a Paul McManus shot over the bar and from the following corner Mark Allen hit the bar with a looping header. By now it was all one-way traffic in the Wingmakers favour.
A through-ball allowed Ian Sheridan to beat the off-side trap on 31 minutes and he raced through to slot a low shot into the far corner. With just over half an hour gone it was 3-0 to the Wingmakers and the game was as good as settled. Danny Desormeaux blasted over with the goalkeeper beaten while at the other end Niki-Lee Bulmer had nothing to do in the Airbus goal.
With 3 minutes to go to half-time a Mark Allen cross into the area was deflected out to Eddie Hope. Hope then struck a terrific long-range drive into the roof of the net to make it 4-0 to the Wingmakers. The away side replaced the injured Jack Christopher with Danny Thomas just before the break and it was not an exaggeration to say that Airbus could have had more goals with the chances they'd created.
At the interval Haverfordwest introduced ex-Football League star Christian Roberts in place of Gareth Elliott but his impact would be minimal as the Wingmakers carried on from where they left off in the first period. On 55 minutes Sheridan headed narrowly wide from a Cadwallader cross and looking for his hat-trick charged down the goalkeeper twice as he attempted to clear.
Around the hour mark Haverfordwest appeared to have tightened up and taken the sting out of the game. On the hour the Wingmakers replaced Paul McManus with John Leah while there was another lengthy stoppage after Gavin Cadwallader collected another facial injury. In a rare attack for the visitors Danny Thomas shot closely past Bulmer's far post.
On 68 minutes Haverfordwest replaced Ricky Watts with Jamie Bradford but the Wingmakers still dominated. Nick Rushton saw a speculative effort go over and Sheridan had a shot held by Thomas. Tom Ramasut picked up a booking for the visitors with 20 minutes to go while Airbus replaced Nick Rushton with fellow teenager Asa Hamilton.
With quarter of an hour to go another through-ball found Sheridan who again beat the defence and made no mistake in firing home low inside the near post. The goal made it 5-0 and in turn Sheridan became the Wingmakers first hat-trick hero in the Welsh Premier League - and received an ovation from the Wingmakers faithful in acknowledgement.
Having racked up their best scoreline in their Welsh Premier history the Wingmakers did not sit back. Hard work to get into the area gave Asa Hamilton a sight of goal but all three of his attempts inside the 6-yard box where blocked by covering defenders. Sheridan also looked to add to his personal tally but his shot went over the bar.
Into the last 10 minutes Sheridan received another deserved ovation when he was replaced with Rhys Nash - another homegrown youngster to have impressed for the Wingmakers in recent weeks. As the game reached the closing stages the Wingmakers looked for more goals as Eddie Hope headed over from a brilliant Danny Desormeaux cross - and Phil Clarke drove a shot wide.
Hope had another chance when he struck a shot over the bar before, inside stoppage-time, Haverfordwest missed their best chance of the game. Great defending from Phil Clarke saw him race back to clear a shot from the visitors off the line to preserve the Wingmakers record 5-0 lead. Soon after that the referee blew the final whistle on another great day for Airbus UK Broughton FC.
The Wingmakers are now firm favourites to clinch the final European play-off spot having won every game since the league split. They are playing some fantastic football - creating chances and scoring goals - and with such a youthful squad hopefully things will only get better. For now though all at the Airfield can savour the progress that has seen three club records in the Welsh Premier set in one game.
Airbus - 1: Niki-Lee Bulmer 2: Mark Allen (c) 3: Phil Clarke 4: Leon Clowes 5: Gavin Cadwallader 6: Richard Dorman 7: Nick Rushton (Hamilton) 8: Danny Desormeaux 9: Ian Sheridan (Nash) 10: Eddie Hope 11: Paul McManus (Leah)
Subs - 12: Matty Woodward 14: John Leah 15: Chris Doran 16: Asa Hamilton 17: Rhys Nash
Haverfordwest - 1: Neil Thomas 2: Kyle Graves 3: Gareth Elliott (C. Roberts) 4: Lee Jarman 5: Mark Dodds (c) 6: Kristian Griffiths 7: Ricky Watts (Bradford) 8: Tom Ramasut 9: Jamie Dixon 10: Jack Christopher (D. Thomas) 11: Richard Evans
Subs - 12: Danny Thomas 14: Jamie Bradford 15: Christian Roberts
By Rory Sheehan