Rothery was at it again, this time infront of the home crowd, notching a hat-trick and helping Howden on their way to recording a deserved win over Hunters FC.
Fresh off a win at Hall Road, Holt returned to the dug-out following a week away and had the problem of trying to fit Smith and Liam Bell into his squad. The Manager opted for a diamond 4 with Webster and Oldridge retaining their starting berths. Liam Masterman started alongside 'Dixie' and the youngster received a man of the match award to cap a brilliant display.
Howden started the brightest of the two and caused Hunters all sorts of problems. Rothery found himself breaking through early on but his effort fired wide. The MinsterMen pushed on and looked dangerous, Butterill put an inviting cross in which Rothery glanced wide also.
The visitors held a high line which worked in the home sides favor, Liam Masterman found pockets of space and looked lively. The first goal was against the run of play and came from a moment of madness from Scott Gorman. The goalkeeper looked to catch a clearance, but a split second decision change to punch the ball, saw the ball roll into the back of the net. Bizarre and a blow to Howden, but the side rallied round and dug the keeper out of a hole.
Rothery was first to get on the scoresheet following a well worked team goal, finishing well from a difficult angle. But Gorman in goal was shaky. Hunters looped a ball in to which the goalkeeper aimed to claim. Misjudged, the striker poked home into an empty goal.
Yet again Howden dug themselves out of a hole. This time it was Masterman who finished with a first time effort from the edge of the box, a great curled strike into the bottom corner. Masterman then turned provider as the youngster set off Liam Bell. The midfielder smashed home a peach of an effort which rattled into the bottom corner. Howden led for the first time in the afternoon.
The home side still weren't done as a strong 20 minutes was capped off as Rothery got his second, Webster put the ball into the path for Rothery who made no mistake. More chances came but the Howden side were happy with a two goal cushion, perhaps it should have been more.
Hunters were next on the scoresheet as Howden's second half started a bit slower than required. A goal mouth scrambled saw legs swung, tackles made, but the ball ended up in the Howden goal somehow. Howden again needed to get another goal to give themselves breathing space.
Boardman replaced Liam Masterman who recieved a standing ovation from the crowd. Webster was the provider for Rotherys hat-trick goal, as he put in a perfect cross for the striker to head home from close range. Wagstaff and Schofield came on for Bell and Oldridges as more goals looked possible.
Yet again, it was Hunters however who clawed one back. This time a scramble and bobble saw the striker able to convert and overhead kick in the box. Howden began to drop as Hunters threw 4 up front. The resilience of the back line was tested to the maximum. Smith was on hand in the dying moments to clear off his line. The points were sealed in a nervy end but for the majority of the game, Howden were the better side and deserved the result.
"We were intense in the first half. We played great stuff and Hunters underestimated us I think". said Holt. "They came out in the second half and we let them play too much. It was a good result, harder than it should have been but we all pulled together and got what we deserved. Masterman is a real gem and he's only getting better".
Man of the Match was awarded to sixteen year old Liam Masterman for a great display, capped by a goal. The club have a clash vs. North Leeds this weekend in the Yorkshire Old Boys Shield, at Roundhay Park.