Rothbury 5 Forest Hall Celtic 1
Saturday 24th April 2021
Paul Dunn’s comeback from a serious leg-break took another huge step forward as he hit a hat-trick that helped put the Reds into the semi-finals of the Combination Cup.
The former Percy Main and Seaton Delaval striker had a smile on his face as he got back on the goal trail – and fellow forward Greg Woodburn joked that he owed him a pint for his treble of assists.
Every centre-forward thrives on finding the target and after Dunn had opened his Reds’ account last weekend, he was delighted to chase down his first match-ball for the Hillmen.
Dunn took just five minutes to put away the opener for Rothbury and settle any nerves that may have been lingering. And when Chris Coe got ahead of his marker to knock in the second against a young and energetic Forest Hall side in the 33rd minute, again being set up by Woodburn, the Reds could relax further.
“We were buzzing for Dunny to get three yesterday as he’s been playing well since he joined but hasn’t been able to find the net as much as he would have liked!” said talented left-winger Woodburn.
“It’s great playing alongside him – myself and Coe have a much easier job when he wins 99% of balls in the air it gives us the chance to get in behind a lot more.”
Dunn powered home his second just six minutes after the break, coolly drilling beyond the keeper from 12 yards and man-of-the-match Woodburn rifled in the fourth at the back post in the 63rd minute. Dunn then fired in low with his left foot beyond the diving keeper inside his near post to complete his treble in the 77th minute.
“I’m loving my football at the minute,” beamed Woodburn.
“I think the way Danny and Rob want us to play is shining through with the results and the style of football we are playing – it felt great to get on the scoresheet again, but felt better getting the four assists, so I think Dunny owes me a pint next weekend for that hat trick of assists for him,” he laughed.
The spirit in the Rothbury camp is high and the players are confident that they can continue to produce for the management team as they face a tough last four fixture against high-flying Prudhoe YC.
“We go in to the semis in good form and we know what Prudhoe are about, they’re a good, organised team but the set up and squad we have at the minute will give them a good game, and hopefully we can rustle a few feathers in their defence like me and Chris love to do – hopefully we’ll play well and go all the way,” concluded Woodburn.
A depleted Forest Hall grabbed a consolation in stoppage time when Charlie Kerr coolly put away a penalty. The Hall had drawn in mid-week with Bedlington and their patched-up youthful side impressed again as they showed plenty of spirit and heart to keep plugging away for the entire game.
“Forest Hall put in a superb effort, but it was a great day for everyone involved at Rothbury. We’ve done so well to progress in the competition,” said delighted Reds gaffer Danny Olson.
– Jon Tait (https://thenorthernassociation.blogspot.com/)