Five star Dale spot on for Blues

Zack Dale converts from the spot
Zack Dale converts from the spot
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Nelson failed to capitalise on the joy and jubilation of their first league victory of the season when sacrificing a two-goal lead in surrender to Squires Gate.

A Zack Dale hat-trick inspired the Blues to a 4-0 win over Barnton at Victoria Park on Non League Day at the weekend as Phil Eastwood’s men climbed out of the bottom three.

The hosts, who were rooted to the bottom of the Hallmark Security Premier Division heading in to the fixture, took the lead in the 39th minute when summer signing Jake Townsend opened his account for the club with an effort from the edge of the box.

And they didn’t have to wait long to double their advantage when, just seconds before the interval, leading scorer Dale rounded goalkeeper Matthew Conkie before tapping in to an empty net.

After the break, Dale completed his hat-trick with two goals from the penalty spot. The forward picked himself up to dispatch the first in the 67th minute before securing the match ball six minutes later, rifling the spot kick home off the underside of the crossbar.

Dale was in clinical form again at School Road midweek, taking his tally to eight for the term with a brace, but the Blues were beaten in Blackpool.

After Jake Parker hit the upright, the hosts took the lead in the 27th minute when Alex McKendrick converted Danny Penswick’s set-piece when unmarked at the far post.

The visitors levelled 10 minutes later when Parker found himself in the right place at the right time to guide a cross past Ben Fletcher from six yards out.

Nelson took the lead as half-time approached when Dale was successful from the spot for the third time in two games. Fletcher guessed correctly as Dale struck from 12 yards out but the ball only brushed his fingertips on its way to hitting the net.

Incredibly, the away side were awarded yet another penalty in the second half and there were no prizes for predicting the outcome. Dale, again, was spot on.

A calamitous moment from goalkeeper Steven James gifted the home side a passage back in to the fixture just after the hour, allowing Rick Seear’s header to slip through his hands.

Defender Sam Reeves then handed the hosts an opportunity to equalise when conceding a penalty, an invitation which Mark Buchan accepted when making it 3-3.

And things got worse for Nelson when Buchan confirmed their collapse. The striker drilled home in the 87th minute following a goalmouth scramble.

The Blues had a golden chance to salvage a point late on but Parker somehow thumped the ball against the bar with the goal gaping.