Southside Rangers kept up their pursuit of South Belfast Youth League glory with a 6-1 win over Dunmurry at Wakehurst on Saturday.
Right from kick off Southside raced out of the traps and Ryan Corrigan almost opened the scoring in the second minute when his well struck effort sailed marginally wide.
Dunmurry in the early exchanges had no answer to the speed of the Southside passing and for a 10 minute period Southside produced relentless pressure on the visitors goal.
A dazzling run from Corey McDowell ended when he was taken down just inside the penalty area. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Sam McNiece delivered a precise penalty low into the bottom corner of the net.
Minutes later it was 2-0 when Daniel Hogg rose highest to nod home the second. Next up it was big Gareth Williams who was the provider of goal number three. This time it was Corey McDowell who latched onto the pass to drive home.
On a firm frosty pitch the game became a little untidy as an injury depleted Southside squad appeared to take their foot of the pedal allowing Dunmurry a lifeline goal.
The visitors’ joy was short lived when the three goal cushion was restored five minutes before the break when a superb long pass from Captain Dylan Graham found Sam McNiece, who swung in a cross from the right to allow Corey McDowell to head home his second of the day.
Despite Southside’s dominance, their next goal didn’t come until the hour mark as Corey McDowell completed his hat trick when he was alert enough to pounce when the keeper parried an effort from Daniel Hogg.
The sixth goal came on the 88th minute when Sam McNiece latched onto a clearance from Stuart Wylie to convert his second of the game from close range.
This win keeps Southside right on the heels of the league leaders Bangor but with two league encounters against them still ahead this title race is far from a formality.
Squad: Wylie, Hamill, Kirk, Erwin, McCready, Graham, Hogg, Williams, Corrigan, McNiece, R Stewart, McDowell.