Shirebrook Town thumped a massive nine goals past NCEL Division One basement side Appleby Frodingham in a 9-2 success at the Brumby Hall Sports Ground in Scunthorpe on Saturday.
But visitors Shirebrook didn’t quite have it all their own way against their plucky hosts, who were first to find the back of the net with a shock goal after barely a minute of the game had been played.
Shirebrook were without suspended keeper Sam Andrew and, with Gavin Saxby still out injured since before Christmas, defender Mark Camm donned the number one jersey and gloves for this game.
But there was nothing Camm could do when an early defensive misunderstanding let Jahsiah Donaldson get in behind, and he fired the ball low inside the far post across the stand-in keeper from 14 yards inside the box on the right.
It was the worst possible start for Shirebrook, but the visitors soon began to take control and Matthew Thompson very nearly equalised on nine minutes, hitting the base of the left hand post from 25 yards.
A couple of half-chances followed for Appleby, but they came to nothing before Shirebrook top-scorer Aaron Moxam worked his magic with a shot into the roof of the Appleby net from inside the box, and the visitors were finally level on 17 minutes.
And soon afterwards, three Shirebrook goals in the space of as many minutes looked to have put the game beyond the home side’s reach.
Tom Mullen found the Appleby net from 16 yards on 24 minutes, before Moxam bagged himself a second goal a minute later from wide on the right with a shot that proved too hot for home keeper Paul Tait to handle at the near post.
And then, almost straight from the Appleby kick-off, Shirebrook won the ball back and Thompson raced clear, drilling a low shot from just inside the box into the home net to give the visitors a 4-1 lead on 26 minutes.
Thompson had the ball in the net again two minutes later, but that was ruled out for offside.
Appleby weren’t done, though, and Joshua Turgoose went close twice just after the half-hour, his first effort a 25-yard free-kick that Camm had to save with his legs, followed two minutes later with a 12-yard near-post header over the crossbar off Ryan Short’s free-kick into the Shirebrook box from the right.
The home side continued to press until, two minutes into time added on at the end of the half, Shirebrook gave the ball away far too easily on the halfway line.
The pass forward that followed picked out Donaldson through the centre, and he managed to steal a yard on his marker before skilfully slotting the ball past Camm from 25 yards to reduce the deficit going into the interval.
It was a sloppy goal for Shirebrook to give away and Appleby continued to press at the start of the second half, but Mullen restored the visitors’ three goal margin with his second of the game on 56 minutes after taking the ball around home keeper Tait, before firing into the empty net.
That took the wind out of Appleby’s sails and two more Shirebrook goals with around 20 minutes to go wrapped the game up, the first a diving header at the far post from substitute George Zeurner off Thompson’s cross from wide on the left, followed two minutes later with a simple tap in, Thompson bagging himself a brace after Moxam laid the ball off from Danny Claridge’s cross into the box from the left.
Moxam then grabbed himself a hat-trick and made it 8-2 on 81 minutes when Zeurner unselfishly squared the ball across the Appleby box, after being put in on goal by substitute Jordan Hall’s lofted pass from halfway.
Shirebrook skipper Craig Getliff completed the rout five minutes later with arguably the goal of the game, an unstoppable right foot shot rifled in from 25 yards on the left, which gave Tait no chance of a save as it flew into the far side of the Appleby net.
Including a 12-0 win at Langwith Road last November, Shirebrook have put 21 goals past Appleby this campaign, 10 of those coming from the boot of Aaron Moxam, and the Scunthorpe-based bottom side now look almost certain to lose their NCEL place at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Shirebrook stay in fourth place after the win with one more important game for them left to play, a must-win trip into West Yorkshire in a fortnight’s time to take on ninth-placed AFC Emley, one of the six chasing sides with games in hand and with enough points still available to catch and overtake Shirebrook come the end of the season.
APPLEBY FRODINGHAM: Tait, Dores, Walmsley (Browne 51), Short (Cary 66), Shipman, Reid (Yamah 37), Nicholls, Turgoose, Donaldson, Hood, Lee.
SHIREBROOK TOWN: M. Camm, Hanson, Claridge, Booth (Hall 61), Henshaw, Simpson, Rowley (Zeurner 61), Getliff, Moxam, Mullen (Bacon 81), Thompson. Subs not used: Bradley.
REFEREE: Luke Lythall of South Yorkshire.