Anderson runs riot at Spittal Rovers exit the NFA Minor Cup
Spittal Rovers 1-7 Wallsend Boys Club Sen
Rovers exited the Stelrad Minor Cup in disappointing fashion at Newfields Park, slumping to their heaviest defeat since August last year.
Scott Mitchell’s men were inferior to their higher league opponents in every department with visiting striker Liam Anderson certainly having a day to remember, his physicality proving too much as he tormented the Seasiders all afternoon - netting five.
Despite the heavy loss, Spittal did start reasonably well with Craig Bell going close and Leigh Walker offering a lot down the left on the overlap - one such passage of play saw him underhit his cross which on another day might have opened the deadlock. At the other end, ex Alliance Select player Paul Antony had a curling effort saved by Ash Pendrich before Anderson swivelled to blast over moments later.
The Wallsend opener arrived via a sweeping move down the right. When the ball came inside, Pendrich somehow tipped Anderson’s effort onto the post, but the rebound fell favourably for Bradley Walsh, whose anticipation saw him react quickest to guide the ball home.
Rovers then missed two guilt edged changes - Dimitrijs Paplavskis firstly weaving his way through brilliantly only for his shot to be saved prior to heading over Ben Fairbairn’s cross from six yards out. Moments later, the goal of the game arrived for the Geordies when Antony orchestrated another intricate, passing move. This culminated in a majestic chip from Anderson, who after spotting Pendrich slightly off his line, perfectly lifted the ball over him to double his side’s lead. An exquisite finish.
The second half began with the forward thinking Kyle Jeffrey almost pulling a goal back, but his cross come shot could not be diverted home as it trundled across the six yard box. The same player then shot off target after good work from Niall Jones, but after this, Wallsend took firm control of the game with their solid defence complimented by the experienced, hard working Kevin Grahamslaw ahead of them. They somehow rattled the woodwork from just inside their half before Spittal’s Leigh Walker gave away a penalty - Anderson slotting home the spotkick to give his side a cushion.
Jones netted shortly after this, but from then on in it was just wave after wave of yellowness with the brightly clad Wallsend looking like scoring at every opportunity. Anderson secured his hat-trick at the far post with a viciously hit strike past Pendrich before knocking another in off the post.
The fifth and final goal of his personal haul saw him take full advantage of hesitancy in the Rovers defence. After outmuscling Ewan Sherry, he nonchalantly back healed the ball past the sprawling Pendrich to then chase it towards goal - stopping it on the line before hitting it home.
Marco Lambert and Rhys Bloomfield were introduced for Spittal with the latter going close from distance, the midfielder leaving the crossbar shaking after latching onto Paul Wood’s flick on.
Jeffrey also went close, but it was Wallsend who were to grab another - Antony’s beautifully hit corner powered home by centre half Ryan Whitfield to cap a wonderful away day for the Division 1 side.
Spittal must now dust themselves down ahead of next week’s Division 2 trip to Eslington Park where they will face Gateshead Redheugh 1957.