Lane fires first half treble as Paulsgrove thrash Hampshire Premier League leaders Bush Hill

Danny Lane struck a first-half hat-trick as Paulsgrove fired a stunning five-goal message to all the Hampshire Premier League title hopefuls.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 1:08 pm
Danny Lane celebrates in front of Bush Hill manager Eugene McManus after scoring his second goal. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Wayne Grant’s men remained fifth in the Senior Division after hammering table-topping Bush Hill 5-2 at the weekend.

But they have at least three games in hand on all the teams above them after winning nine of their opening 10 matches and drawing the other.

Lane opened the scoring after only four minutes, the kick off having been delayed while Bush changed into yellow shirts to avoid a colour clash.

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Paulsgrove striker Danny Lane scores the second of his three first-half goals against Bush Hill. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Bush defender James Whitlock had looked favourite to cut out a pass, but Zak Willett capitalised on his hesitation and was instantly in the clear. Rounding keeper Reece Henry, Willett had time to look up and roll a simple pass for Lane to pick his spot from six yards out.

Ten minutes later Shane Cornish put Willett through again, and after rounding Henry he looked set to score before being denied by a last-ditch tackle.

Cornish was to provide the assist for Lane’s next two goals.

First, the striker controlled a crossfield ball with his first touch, before firing home with his second.

Danny Lane completes his first half hat-trick. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

That sparked a jog to the touchline and a sliding knee celebration in front of Bush boss Eugene McManus.

It was the sort of celebration that would probably have brought Lane a yellow card for ungentlemanly conduct higher up the footballing pyramid. If Sergio Aguero celebrated like that in front of Jose Mourinho, the images would be on the back page of every paper in the land.

As it was, only News photographer Chris Moorhouse was present at Marsden Lane to capture Lane’s delight for posterity!

On 36 minutes it was Lane 3 Bush 0 as the visitors yet again paid the price for a high back line. This time Cornish played him through and Lane produced another calm, composed finish for his 15th goal in only nine Senior Division starts.

Bush Hill manager Eugene McManus talks to referee Craig Sandoe after he awarded Paulsgrove an indirect free-kick on the edge of the Bush six-yard box. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

At this stage, Grove were looking like scoring every time they attacked with Cornish, Lane and Willett asking all the questions.

The hosts were awarded an indirect free-kick on the edge of the Bush six-yard box shortly after, following Henry getting a hand to an overhit back pass. Aaron Fennemore rolled it to Cornish, whose shot was deflected just over.

Cornish should have made it 4-0 within a minute of the restart, firing just wide from close range after Lane had won possession near the byline.

The visitors reduced the deficit on 52 minutes when James Long headed in a corner.

Bush tried to retrieve the ball quickly from the back of the net, sparking a melee involving several players.

Grove keeper Taylor Revy, for one, was lucky not to see red for kicking out, and it took several minutes to restore order.

With spectators expecting dismissals, referee Craig Sandoe instead awarded a flurry of yellows.

Grove boss Wayne Grant said: ‘Our keeper could have been sent off, we could have had a couple sent off, they could have had a few sent off.

‘The referee was fantastic, he’s obviously played the game.

‘It was always going to be a difficult game, but the referee used his common sense.’

Grove restored their three-goal lead when Sandoe awarded a penalty for a challenge on Willett, Cornish confidently netting.

Bush defender Gary Haines was sent to the sin bin for dissent, and visiting midfielder Charlie Willett - already booked - was lucky not to see red for another foul before he was replaced by ex-Fleetlands striker Nathan Gray.

Bush were far better as an attacking force in the second half, with dangerman Mark Barker coming more into the game.

Much of Bush’s football - via the likes of Callum Drake, Kenny Gater and Noel McCarthy-Gardiner - was pleasing on the eye, yet they didn’t hurt Grove in the way Lane had damaged them in the first half.

Barker, the Senior Division’s top scorer, made it 4-2 with his 23rd goal of the campaign, netting from close range after a shot had struck a post.

A minute later Bush hit the woodwork again, Revy doing well to push a Gray effort onto a post.

But Willett had the final say at the other end, scoring his 15th goal of a superb HPL debut season.

Grove: Revy, Dorsett, Eames, Doughty (Scott), Butcher, White, Fennemore (Warlow), Cornish, Lane, Willett, Tee (Cripps).

Bush: Henry, Smith, Lavender, Haines, Whitlock, Long, Willett (Gray), Gater, Barker, Draker, McCarthy-Gardiner.