Lads Club 7 Tenbury United 0.

HEREFORD Lads Club are targeting a return to the County Ground next season and have their eyes on West Midlands League Division One.

Danny Moon’s men are playing at Hereford Leisure Centre this term and are the only side unbeaten in Division Two.

“The league said the pitch wasn’t big enough at the County Ground so we had to find an alternative ground. But we’ve got on with it and, hopefully, we’ll win promotion this season,” said Moon.

“The County Ground pitch has got to go back a yard and the trees will come out and a fence will be put in in the next two to four months.

“Everything should be ready for the start of next season.

“Playing at the leisure centre is a financial strain for us – we haven’t got a Sugar Daddy to help us.

“It’s £80 a match to hire the pitch and foodlights are an extra £15 if we want them on.”

Lads Club are sixth in the table and are nine points behind table-topping Ledbury Town.

However, Lads Club have played five fewer games than the New Street side.

Moon said: “There’s a lot of interest in the league from Herefordshire with Ledbury Town and Bartestree also doing very well. “We think there could be three promotion places up for grabs.

“We want to push on to Division One and we have aspirations to get to the Premier Division.”

Lads Club dominated last Saturday’s league match from the first whistle against struggling Tenbury United.

Tenbury were thrashed 9-0 at home by Bartestree in their previous outing against Herefordshire opposition.

Tenbury were struggling to field a side due to injuries and suspensions and Lads Club created a host of chances and should have won by a much bigger margin.

Striker Steve Dixon started the rout, with Lads Club’s opener in the fifth minute.

Mike Olive bagged a first-half brace and Matt Maturi also struck to give the hosts a 4-0 interval advantage.

Tenbury have lost Dale Withers, who has rejoined his old club Wellington, while the suspended Aaron Morris was in the dug-out.

The visitors’ defensive frailties were evident throughout.

Tenbury goalkeeper Dave Rigby made some brave saves but Lads Club’s strong midfield opened up the visitors’ defence at will in the first 45 minutes.

Aaron Turner will probably not want to be reminded of his glaring miss when he ran from half-way and rounded Rigby only to slide his shot wide of the far post with the goal gaping.

Kia Cowley coolly slotted in Lads Club’s fifth goal after Tenbury failed to clear a corner and Dixon cut inside to hammer home his second to add the hosts’ sixth goal.

The hosts rattled the crossbar and Dixon had an effort ruled out for off-side before Moon completed the rout with a crisp left-foot shot from the edge of the box.

“I think the whole team played well,” said Moon.

“We dropped four points against Tenbury last season so it was nice just to win.

“I am top scorer so I think I would have been disappointed had I not scored.

“It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we get three points.”

Lads Club travel to ninth-placed Wrens Nest this Saturday as the Hereford outfit remain focused on their league campaign.

“We lost to Leominster Town in the County Cup which was my fault because I changed the team,” said Moon.

“We lost two players to Pegasus in the summer and gained three lads from Hinton. We have brought in three from last season’s under-18s. We will continue to keep pushing the young lads.

“But promotion is our priority this season and that has always been the case.”

Tenbury United are 12th in the league and player-manager Colin Powell was pleased with his depleted side’s efforts.

“Keeping the lads’ heads up is quite difficult at times,” said Powell. “The spirit was there and I felt we got stronger as the game went on. We were winning more second balls in the second-half. We kept it down – we wanted to keep it goalless in the second-half but, unfortunately, a few loose goals went in. “But I was pleased with the guys’ performances.”

MATCH FACTS Hereford Lads Club: Bell, Body (Kalum Wildig, 57 min), Pugh, Liam Jones, Richards, Maturi, Dixon, Moon, Turner (Ashley Jones, 71 min), Cowley, Olive (Brown, 77 min). Sub not used: Richie Jones.

Tenbury United: Rigby, Farrar, Caldicott, Smith, Powell, Oliver, Williams, Rogers, Baldwin, Fish, Ryan Morris.

Referee: Alan Robinson (Herefordshire FA).

Star man: Steve Dixon (Lads Club).