SLEIGHTS extended their 100% home league record to six games and their lead at the top of division three to six points, after a 9-5 victory over Ayton Reserves.
They scored twice in two minutes early on, first, when an unlucky opposition defender nodded past his own keeper from Lee Brennan’s cross.
Then towering centre-half Andrew Hardy played a slide-rule pass for Ben Watson to slot home and it was 3-0 when Locker’s through-ball found Andy Martin on 13 minutes, who finished expertly, first-time, from the edge of the area.
Summer signing Stu Hancock almost scored his first Sleights goal after chipping the onrushing keeper, in the 21st minute, but with the ball heading just wide,
Watson apologetically nodded in at the far post.
Locker, already booked for a tackle from behind, was then dismissed for a midfield lunge by referee Adrian Waring.
However, it didn’t stop Martin from slamming home another from the fringes of the Ayton box, before half-time.
The visitors blasted back three quickfire strikes of their own, including two from Sam Wallace, to make it 5-3.
But a second own-goal, six minutes into the second half, gave Howard’s men breathing space and despite TJ Duggan’s speedy reply, Jake Faichney headed home for 7-4, just before the hour.
Mark Dove’s second successful penalty was mere consolation, as Watson completed his third hat-trick in three games and Faichney struck again, a minute from time.
Sleights have now netted 29 goals in their last three matches.
Jim Howard told the Whitby Gazette: “I can’t fault the players for the extra effort they were forced to muster, after going down to ten men.
“Ayton scored only two goals from open play, we kept the ball well and attacked with intent.”
Sleights’ man of the match: Jake Faichney
Matchball sponsor: Cowen Windows Ltd