FISHBURN Park under 11s travelled to Darlington to take on third-placed Middleton.
The wind was so strong with huge gusts at times that flowing football was never on the agenda.
But Park have been schooled well and kept the ball on the deck, resisting the temptation to just hoof the ball forward with the wind behind them in the first half.
It was frustrating at times as through balls were running away but the lads stuck to it and eventually got their rewards as Fergus raced clear to slot the ball past the keeper for 1-0.
And it was Fergus again clear for the second goal, this time brought down by the onrushing keeper for a penalty. He gathered himself to slot the ball home.
There were other good chances too during the half, Ward-Hepburn lashing one just over the bar, Swales cracking a beauty against a post and Horne clear through after a slick passing move only to be called dubiously offside.
Park’s passing served them well in the second half against the strong wind. They could have expected a tough time with the driving wind but instead Park played some excellent passing moves and increased the lead to 3-0, Hambley speeding down the right and crossing perfectly for Horne at the backpost.
Fergus completed his hat-trick with another well taken goal, this time Ward slotting a defence splitting pass straight through the middle.
Middleton then had their spell in the game and it was all from distance with Humble in goal being tested fully at times - none more so than a goalmouth scramble when he pulled off the save of the season from point-blank range.
But the home team broke the resistance twice, one effort into the corner and the other a dubious free-kick, but well despatched into the corner. Park were not finished though and Horne scored his second of the game - a carbon copy of his first, with Hambley crossing to the back post. A difficult day but handled well by the lads.
Man of the match: Soni Fergus – fine hat-trick which takes him to the top of the league scoring charts.
Middleton Rangers U11s 2 Fishburn Park U11s 5