Carpenter chips in as United march on
Clee Hill United stayed in sight of the leaders in the Herefordshire League Premier Division after running out 5-1 winners away to Hinton – despite going off the boil in the second half.
The visitors were too strong for their rivals in the first period, opening up a four-goal lead as Josh Carpenter bagged a hat-trick with James Clifford getting the other, writes John Bridgwater.
But they failed to maintain that momentum in the second period, despite Clifford getting his second of the game before the home side grabbed a consolation goal.
Clee remain second, still 14 points behind high-flying Wellington Reserves with four games in hand after the leaders also secured a 5-1 victory at Holme Lacy.
They are away to fifth-place Fownhope on Saturday, before hosting Wellington in a crunch top-of-the-table clash the following week.
“Wellington’s going to be a six-pointer, but we’re looking no further than Fownhope at the moment,” said Clee manager Wayne Whitbread.
“We played very well in the first half against Hinton, were 4-0 up, but did not come out for the second half.
“All the good things we did in the first half, we didn’t do in the second which was disappointing as it was a good chance to kick on.”
In the first half, Carpenter opened the scoring from the penalty spot, and added his second after a good run and cross from Conner Taylor.
Clifford then got in on the act, Carpenter then completed his treble at the interval, and Clifford netted a second after the break before Hinton pulled one back.
Ludlow’s terrific run of form in the West Midlands League Division Two was halted by the icy weather with their big home clash against third-placed Gornal Colts called off due to a frozen pitch.
They remain joint fourth in the table, and frustratingly are also without a scheduled game this weekend before visiting Shrewsbury side Rock Rovers the following week.
Second-placed Church Stretton Town also found themselves left out in the cold as their trip to Rock Rovers was postponed due to an unfit surface.
The call-off sees Stretton remain second, still four points adrift of leaders FC Darlaston, but with a game in hand. They are in League Cup action on Saturday at home to Gornal Colts.
Meanwhile Bishop’s Castle bowed out of the Central Wales Cup with a 2-0 exit away to Four Crosses in the second round.