Hot-shot Anton leads Caister on demolition job

Caister 6 Long Stratton 1

In-form Caister put their cup exploits on the back burner as they stepped up their Anglian Combination Division One promotion campaign with a demolition job on fellow high-flyers Long Stratton.

Caister started at an electric pace putting their visitors under immediate pressure.

Kieran Hack was given early opportunities as chances were carved out by the inventive front four. However when found well placed inside the penalty box on two occasions he failed to give Caister the lead. Then good close one touch football inside the Stratton box allowed Danny Heller to break free but as he was about to shoot he was brought down inside the box but to Caister’s amazement the referee waved play on.

Caister were comfortable and in control but missed chances were just beginning to threaten a frustrating afternoon before Hack sent Caister into the lead. Inside the penalty box but forced wide Hack showed great pace and strength to hold off two attending defenders before despatching a low drive across the keeper.

Anton Ward made it two for Caister only five minutes later with what will surely be the stand-out goal of the season. Anton picked up the ball in his own half and ran at the Long Stratton midfield beating players at pace before smashing an absolute rocket from 35 yards into the top corner.

On the left wing Garrett Ward was looking dangerous and causing lots of problems in the last third of the pitch. His skill and persistence inside the box allowed him room to square a perfect tee-up for Hack whose timely arrival on the edge of the box saw him place his shot into the corner of the net.

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In the second half a resurgent Long Stratton thought they had scored on 50 minutes however the linesman had adjudged it to be offside.

Caister rode the early storm and soon settled back into the excellent flowing football shown in the first half thanks in the main part to the licence that the excellent Nichols and Lines were giving the front four creative players.

Nichols, after a neat interchange in midfield with Heller, sprayed an excellent driven pass out to Anton Ward who took the ball in his stride on the run and drove into the box in his trademark style before slotting home a low drive.

Anton claimed a superb hat-trick with 20 minutes still to play with another fantastic strike from a free kick 30 yards out.

His curling effort flew high into the net at pace showing stunning technique to make it 5-0.

On a day when no one could do a thing wrong Danny Heller played an intricate combination with Hack before delightfully chipping the keeper for his sixthh goal of the season.

Caister had a penalty claim turned down when Kieran Hack was pushed in the back by the last defender as he was bearing down on goal.

A misplaced pass meant that Sam Page was gifted a consolation goal for the visitors.

Tomorrow Caister have a chance to measure their progress when they travel to Premier Division Sterry Cup title-chasers Acle for an intriguing Mummery Cup quarter-final derby at Bridewell Lane (1.30).

Caister squad from: Hollis, R.Heller, D.Heller, A.Ward, G.Ward, Hack, Crawley, Nichols, Bevan, Macgregor, Blake, Lines, Turner, Rowley, Fitzgerald, Hill.