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Four-goal Butler spearheads crushing win for North Notts

GOAL! -- Will Butler fires home one of North Notts's eight goals in their landslide victory over Tamworth.
GOAL! -- Will Butler fires home one of North Notts's eight goals in their landslide victory over Tamworth.

Hotshot Will Butler netted four as North Notts went on the rampage to crush Tamworth in the East Midlands Premier Division of the Midland Men’s Hockey League.

Reaching the halfway point of the season, North Notts dispatched their Staffordshire visitors 8-1 in the rain at Manor Park and now sit fourth in the table after seven wins from their 11 matches.

Their attack-minded formation paid immediate dividends as relentless pressure led to Butler opening the scoring with a penalty stroke after five minutes.

Amid the one-way traffic, there was a brief respite for Tamworth when Marc Johnson’s tackle was deemed too physical for the umpire’s liking, and the home side were reduced to ten men.

But the two-minute suspension did little to halt the North Notts offensive with Butler looking a threat every time he was on the ball and Curtis Brooks making an instant impact on his first-team league debut.

Butler duly added his second goal in the 25th minute after some exceptional play by youngster Anthony Clay, and then came a superb five-minute spell, which led to the hosts going in at half-time 5-0 up.

First, Butler turned creator, finding cousin Allen Butler, who slipped a delightful pass for Rhys Jepson to finish. Next, Butler completed his hat-trick after more good work by cousin Allen. And then Jepson repaid Allen Butler’s unselfishness to leave him with an easy strike.

North Notts refused to take their foot off the gas in the second half, adding a sixth goal within three minutes when Will Butler bagged his fourth. And it wasn’t long before 42-year-old veteran Jason Barton was joining in the fun, finishing off a well-worked move around the D.

The home side found time to introduce Alex Greer after a considerable lay-off with injury, and although he lacked match fitness, he showed signs of the flair and versatility that previously made him one of the club’s best players.

All that was left was for tenacious midfielder Josh Singleton to net the eighth goal, punishing an error by the ‘keeper, and although Tamworth scored a late consolation, there was no esacpe from their biggest defeat of the season.

North Notts manager Jay Faulkner said: “We seem to be in full flow now after a slow start to the season. We’re not the finished article yet, but we’re improving all the time.”