MOORLANDS consolidated their position at the top of Division 4B with a solid 6-3 win over title rivals Netherton.
Ideal conditions greeted the players as they arrived at Moorlands’ Memorial Park Ground at Mirfield.
Moorlands took control from the start and, as early as the fifth minute, Netherton were given warning when a Tom Johnson shot from the edge of the area rattled the crossbar and by the 10th minute Moorlands took a deserved lead through Scott Naylor.
Netherton were being overwhelmed as Hassan Abbas and Losher Atif ran riot in midfield and they soon found themselves two down when Josh Csuk found the net with a shot across goal into the bottom corner for a two-goal lead.
The visitors needed to stop the rot and the answer came from Josh Joynson and Jacob Barrett whose trickery relieved some of the pressure and created the opening from which Marlow Mightly put Netherton back in the game with a shot into the top corner.
Despite Netherton’s recovery, the home side were still determined to throw everything into attack and, although central defenders Usaamah Riaz and Calum Batley did a superb job, the shots were coming in thick and fast.
Jordan Murphy-Allen crashed a volley against the right hand post and a Darrol Rhodes shot flashed just wide before the half time whistle came to Netherton’s rescue.
Netherton re-grouped and gave the home side a few scares as the second half got under way but their determination to push forward left space for Moorlands’ Josh Richards to exploit and, although Netherton captain Batley did well to keep the speedy left winger under control, it was inevitable that Johnson would eventually find a way through.
And, when he did, striker Csuk was on hand to tap home the near post cross for a 3-1 lead.
Netherton’s task was made even harder minutes later when referee Dale Rhodes signalled a penalty for a hand ball and Tom Johnson converted the spot kick to increase Moorlands lead to 4-1.
The three goal gap didn’t upset Netherton, who were now enjoying an equal share of possession and, if Jordan Barrett’s shot had rolled into the Moorlands goal instead of just the wrong side of the post, they might have got something more from the game.
But, as so often happens, Moorlands went straight to the other end where Abbas struck a fifth goal to put the game beyond recovery for Netherton.
Two fine strikes from Liam Norcliffe late in the game restored Netherton’s pride but Jordan Barrett was denied by a superb save from Moorlands keeper Aaron Burrows.
But Jon Murphy-Allen struck a sixth for the home side to make it a resounding victory.
Moorlands retain top spot but they will need to maintain their winning ways as both Scholes and Netherton remain right on their heels, and have games in hand, in the race for the title.