JOINT-MANAGER Nick Barnett hailed his ‘magnificent seven’ after Leominster Town demolished the bottom club in West Midlands League Division One.
Experienced striker Terry Williams took the plaudits with a superb four-goal display, which gave Leominster only their fourth league victory of the campaign.
The lively Sam Pearson also bagged a brace for Leominster, who hit four goals in a 10-minute spell in the second-half of last Saturday’s match.
But the major talking point on a bitterly cold afternoon was the impressive display from the seven teenagers who had been playing in Leominster Minors’ under-18 team.
And young goalkeeper Scott Dallow saved a crucial first-half penalty when the match was evenly poised at 3-1 in Town’s favour.
In his team-talk before the game, Barnett had told the youngsters they were ‘not just there to make up the numbers’ and had earned their starting positions.
And, after the final whistle, a delighted Barnett said: “They all did a great job. It was brilliant – old and new mixed together and I was really pleased for them.
“We had seven of the under-18s who have been together since under-9 level.
“Scott Dallow has been with me since he was nine and he’s now an under-17. He did really well.”
Keanu Barnett is with Birmingham City’s development side and Randall is at League of Wales outfit, The New Saints. Sharp spent two years at West Bromwich Albion.
Nick Barnett added: “I’ll have a relaxing bottle of wine to celebrate but I thought we could have kept a clean sheet.”
One of Leominster’s teenage stars, Conor Gorman, played the first-half for the hosts but had to leave at the interval because of his work commitments.
Four-goal striker Terry Williams was pleased with Town’s win and praised the youngsters who shone.
“There’s a good group of young lads coming through and it’s looking good for us,” said Williams, who has taken his goal tally to 21 for the season.”
Williams, who has hit three hat-tricks this season, joked: “They wouldn’t give the match-ball to me – they cost too much money to give away. This win was about the team. It was a great result.”
The victory should give fourth-from-bottom Leominster confidence ahead of this Saturday’s home match against mid-table outfit Warstone Wanderers.
For Blackheath, it was their 17th defeat in 21 matches and they played well at times before capitulating in the last half-an-hour.
Dallow kept out a drive from Reece Bagnall before Williams headed the hosts in front after a fine run and cross by Ben Price.
But Blackheath drew level through Ben Wallace only for Leominster to regain the lead within a minute, Williams getting a toe to Josh Griffiths’ shot after a fine run by Pearson.
Leominster added a third goal a minute later, Sam Thomas superbly volleying home.
But Blackheath won a penalty when Gorman and Dan Sharp combined to trip Ben Wallace.
However, Dallow superbly kept out Joe Watchhorn’s spot-kick.
Curiously, the Blackheath boss addressed his squad on the pitch at half-time as Leominster’s players headed to the dressing room for a cup of tea.
Within three minutes of the re-start, Blackheath were back in contention when Watchhorn hit a screamer into the top corner.
But Williams completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute to put Leominster 4-2 ahead and it sparked Blackheath’s collapse.
Pearson notched a quick-fire double and Williams rounded off the scoring.
Town’s joint-manager Mike Symonds thought Dallow’s penalty save was crucial to their success.
“It was a vital save because it would have been only 3-2 to us at the break,” said Symonds.
“I told the lads at half-time that the next goal was crucial.
“Blackheath got it with an absolute beauty and, at that point, I started to have a little tremble.
“But, man for man, I thought we were the better side and we deserved to win.”