Morpeth Town hit the ground running as they started the season with a comprehensive 5-1 win at Goole in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.
The Highwaymen were in unstoppable form as a free-flowing display saw Sean Taylor net twice, with Chris Reid, Adam Burnicle and Jackson Ward – a 16-year-old on his debut – all finding the net.
Adam Lund registered a consolation for the visitors in what was a miserable afternoon for them at their Victoria Pleasure Ground.
Taking control from the off, Morpeth set about their visitors with a tenacity and desire to retrieve the ball which Goole simply couldn’t live with.
Unsurprisingly, it was Town who scored the opener on eight minutes, Taylor stepping out of a congested penalty area to collect Ben Sayer’s low corner and fire a bobbling effort which evaded everyone before finding the far corner.
If the defending was suspect there, then it was even worse on 20 minutes when Reid was afforded yards of space at the back post to nod in Sayer’s in-swinging free-kick from the left.
Morpeth were fluent and dominant in possession and should have had a third moments later, but David Carson’s strike was blocked before Taylor blazed over from the edge of the area.
Then, just before the half-hour mark, Burnicle was hauled down the area as his trickery proved too much for the Goole defence. But the referee was having none of it and waved clear penalty appeals away.
Leading 2-0 at the interval, The Highwaymen were in merciless mood and went in search of a third. It arrived immediately in the shape of Taylor’s penalty, the forward earning the spot-kick after flicking a ball on to the out-stretched arm of Jacob Stannard.
Effectively ending the game as a contest, the goal inspired Morpeth for more as they ruthlessly set about their task, springing counter after counter which resulted in Burnicle pushing his side into a four-goal lead. The former Shildon man cut inside from the left before unleashing a low drive into the bottom corner.
A fine strike, by now Goole were a spent force and were starting to tire. Sayer was next to go close for the Highwaymen on 59 minutes, but his close-range strike was somehow pushed on to the bar by Goole stopper Daniel Montgomery.
There was still time for more drama though as the last four minutes yielded two goals and an outrageous Taylor effort on 86 minutes which saw the front man let fly from half-way with Montgomery only claiming the ball after it had hit the bar, hit his back and then dropped dead on the goal-line.
Town would find their fifth of the afternoon though, with 16-year-old substitute Jackson Ward latching on to a Taylor ball in from the left to bundle home a first Morpeth goal. Lund then nodded in a stoppage time consolation for the hosts as Morpeth sauntered into the FA Cup Preliminary Round, where they will face Marske United.
Town are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Belper Town (3pm) for their first Evo-Stik East outing.
Goole AFC: Montgomery; Stannard, Sellers, Constable (capt), Varley, Lund, Robson, Eastwood, Schofield (Lamming 83), Chigumira (Tweddle 73), Kay (Nicholson 53). Subs: Carter, Purvis, Wilton. Goals: Lund (90+4).
Morpeth Town: Lowson; Forster, Petrache, Henderson, Reid (capt) (McDonald 76); Sayer, David Carson (Fry 80), Hodgson; Walton (Ward 71), Burnicle, Taylor. Subs: Danny Carson, Bennett, Graydon, Pickering. Goals: Taylor (8, 47 pen), Reid (20), Burnicle (53), Ward (90+2).