Simon Lord hits five-minute hat-trick as Shepton Mallet win at OPM in Plymouth
MATCH REPORT: OPM 1st XI 2, Shepton Mallet men's 1st XI 7
Simon Lord scored a quick-fire hat-trick as Shepton Mallet men’s 1st XI defied a growing injury list to ease to victory at early strugglers Old Plymothian & Mannamedian.
The visitors travelled with the bare 11 players, including Brett Orrell, who came out of retirement to ensure Shepton were not short.
With no replacements to call upon, Shepton looked to avoid getting dragged into an end-to-end game. They attacked from the start and a series of passes allowed Lewis Ducheazue to drive round the back of the defence before setting up Lord to open the scoring with a diving reverse stick hit.
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The visitors quickly won the ball back and Ducheazue was the provider again as he flicked the ball over the diving keeper for Lord to score his second.
The same combination allowed Lord to complete his hat-trick moments later with less than five minutes of the match played.
This finally kicked OPM into life and Shepton fell into the trap of wanting to score goals from everywhere, with the quick passing game going out of the window.
However, they eventually added to the score when Lord flicked the ball to Mike Squire, who volleyed the ball past the stranded keeper.
The second half saw OPM play higher and throw caution to the wind, preventing the Shepton defence from bossing the game.
Shepton chances started to go begging and it was the hosts who scored next when poor marking led to a simple finish.
Lord was far from finished, however, and grabbed Shepton’s fifth after dispossessing a defender and lobbing the keeper.
OPM continued to push forward and scored a fortuitous second goal when a bobbling shot was not stopped by the flapping Tom Ward between the Shepton sticks.
There was still time for two more Shepton goals as Ducheazue scored a deflected short corner and Lord completed the tally from another short corner.
Phillips Tyres man of the match: Lord.
On Saturday, Shepton travel to mid-table Exeter Hornets A.