Barnoldswick Town moved out of the bottom three at the weekend after a 4-1 win over fellow strugglers St Helens Town.
Striker Thomas Henderson put in an outstanding performance scoring a hat-trick on his debut after recently leaving fellow North West Counties Premier League side Silsden.
Town manager Stewart Airdrie was pleased with the performance of new signing Henderson and said: “He is a proven goal scorer, and we were lacking finishing in the side, so he brings us something different. That’s why we got him, to hopefully keep us in this league.”
The manager also praised youngsters Zachary Cooper and Jack Tinning, the 16- year-olds who both arrived from FC United of Manchester and put in solid performances: “The lads were brilliant considering it was the first time playing in a senior team.”
Town are now two points above the relegation places and play 12th place Winsfold United tomorrow, and Airdrie is confident of getting a result: “This is the first time we have had back to back wins in a long time, so the team is full of confidence going into the game.”
Town started well against St Helens, and it was no surprise when they took the lead. Tinning was brought down by Aaron Morris near the bye-line. The youngster picked himself up and sent St Helens keeper Rory Crowther the wrong way from the spot.
Town continued to press, but midway through the first half, Crowther’s clearance was swept downfield to St Helens skipper Andrew Gillespie, who rolled the ball past Scott Reid.
But just after the half hour mark Joel Melia unleashed a fierce shot that Crowther tipped onto the underside of the bar, the ball bouncing to tHenderson, who slid home from three yards.
Town made it 3-1 with 21 minutes left as substitute Mark Threlfall headed the ball into the path of Henderson, who applied the finish.
And the match was put to bed after 81 minutes, Crowther adjudged to have brought Threlfall down, and Henderson confidently sealed his hat-trick.