Delighted manager Paul Romney hailed hat-trick hero Nduoma Chilaka as Holbrook Sports cruised past local rivals, Graham Street Prims, to stay in the top three of the East Midlands Counties League, Premier Division.
Chilaka’s second-half goals eased Holbrook to a 5-0 away victory, which means they have now won five of their opening seven league games of the new season.
Romney said: “I am pleased with the three points, especially after another tough away game last midweek. We weren’t at our best, and Prims made it difficult for us in the first half.
“But scoring five minutes before and after half-time secured the game, and Nduoma then went on to complete his hat-trick. Ross Coxon topped things off with a fabulous team goal.
“Now we must prepare for Wednesday night’s match against Greenwood Meadows, who had a very good 4-1 win on Saturday against Kimberley Miners Welfare.”
Chilaka could not have marked his return to the side, to replace the rested Isaac Minott, in more devastating fashion, and was almost on target as early as the fifth minute when he shot narrowly wide after being released by Chris King.
It was a bright start by The Brookies, but Prims soon began to get a foothold in the game and an excellent run and cut inside brought a shot that was saved well at the near post by ‘keeper Danny Graves.
More pressure from the home side followed as they threw everything into the box. But it was repelled by a solid Holbrook defence, again excellently marshalled by Jack Coulson, and the breakthrough goal came instead from the visitors in the 40th minute. From a cross on the right, the ball was flicked on into the box and Matt Harris finished well into the bottom corner.
Holbrook thought they had doubled their lead just before the break in a goalmouth scramble, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside. However, they needn’t have worried because five minutes into the second period, Chilaka opened his account when outmuscling a Prims defender to fire home.
The goal was the signal for Holbrook to take control of the game, and a further five minutes on, Chilaka was on the mark again, finding himself in a one-on-one, which he neatly slotted into the bottom corner.
For the final half-hour, boss Romney allowed himself the luxury of three substitutions, sending Seb Szondo, Kyle Hazeldine and a new signing from Borrowash Victoria, Sean Fell, into the fray.
They still bossed the show, with Ashley Hayes turning in a man-of-the-match performance, and they came up with the goal of the game when the ball was switched from left to right and an exquisite shot by Szondi was clipped past the ‘keeper by Coxon.
The final word deservedly went to Chilaka, though, as he let rip with a long-range strike ten minutes from the end that gave the Prims ‘keeper no chance.
The struggling hosts did have a a golden chance of a consolation goal in the dying moments, only for the shot to fly over from close range. It capped a miserable day for Prims, who now sit in the bottom five of the table after four defeats from their first seven matches. As for Holbrook, they take a break from league action this coming Saturday.
HOLBROOK SPORTS LINE-UP -- Graves D./ Coulson, Mather, Mitchell, Coxon, Hayes A., King, Labbate, Akers, Harris, Chilaka. SUBS: Fell, Hayes I., Hazeldine, Szondi.