RAMPANT Airbus are the league's leading scorers after hitting another five to topple Prestatyn Town from the top of the Welsh Premier pile.
The Seasiders have confounded a lot of critics' pre-season predictions and found themselves leading the pack ahead of more fancied sides, with the new-look Wingmakers in close pursuit.
On three minutes the Wingmakers took the lead when a ball to the far post found its way to Tom Kearney and he steered the ball into the roof of the net from close-range.
Chris Budrys headed straight at Prestatyn goalkeeper Dunt on nine minutes with the visitors still rocked by their early setback. Minutes later though a Jason Price volley forced a save from Ben Chapman at his near-post as the Seasiders regained their composure but, as the game opened up, Budrys and then Tom Field fired narrowly wide at the other end.
There was a hold-up on 20 minutes as referee Mark Petch left the action injured being replaced by one of his assistants. Dunt denied Abbott with his feet on half an hour but a minute later, after his defence had failed to clear, he was powerless to stop Wayne Riley’s powerful low shot from making it 2-0 to Airbus.
It was 3-0 on 39 minutes when the visitors' defensive nightmare continued – a Steve Tomassen shot on the edge of the six-yard box was helped on its way in by a Seasiders' defender.
The league’s top team were being comprehensively torn apart by a Wingmakers side in ruthless attacking mood again. Half-time arrived and with Prestatyn reduced to a single opportunity it was difficult to see the game ending in anything other than another big margin of victory for Airbus.
Within two minutes of the second-half beginning an impressive run and low finish from Jordan Johnson made it 4-0 to Airbus. Wayne Riley then curled a free-kick over the bar in what was proving to be a long night for Prestatyn, Jordan Johnson causing all sorts of problems too. Riley evaded the defence again on 56 minutes and only a good stop from Dunt and a covering defender on the line kept him at bay.
On the hour Prestatyn were reduced to 10 men with Greg Stones receiving a straight red card for an innocuous-looking challenge on Field as their night went from bad to worse. A few minutes later Johnson, carrying a knock, was replaced with Mike Hayes for Airbus. Prestatyn’s player/manager Neil Gibson then went into the book for an accumulation of foul challenges.
With 20 minutes to go Airbus were dominating possession and putting Prestatyn under heavy pressure. In response the visitors replaced Dan Evans with Tom Kemp. The Wingmakers also made a change with Steve Abbott being replaced with Toby Jones. Gareth Wilson blazed an effort over the bar for Prestatyn before Airbus made their final change – Mark Cadwallader replacing Tom Field.
The next Prestatyn player to into the book with less than quarter of an hour to go was Chris Hughes for hacking down Toby Jones. On 76 minutes a shot Dunt struggled to block at the near-post was bundled home from yards out as Chris Budrys made it 5-0 to Airbus and only an excellent stop from Dunt minutes later prevented him from increasing the lead even further.
In the last minute Andy Parkinson skewed a shot over for Prestatyn, but the Wingmakers kept the ball well and fully merited their thumping 5-0 win. If Airbus perform as well again next week when hosting double winners and title favourites TNS, there could be a significant upset in the title race.
By Rory Sheehan