Sleights earned promotion to the Scarborough League second division after a 7-0 victory over Cayton Corinthians Reserves, in their last match of the season, on Monday.
James Howard’s men knew they needed to win the third tier’s final game to pip West Pier Reserves to second place. They started strongly at Eskdale School, going ahead in the eighth minute when Mark McCarthy swept home from distance.
Ben Watson soon made it two, with a composed finish, but at half-time, player-boss Howard, who replaced the unavailable Terry Cummins in goal, warned his defence to play a little deeper, with the wind against them in the second half.
But his forwards preceded to take a pile of pressure off their colleagues, as Andy Martin’s deft chip released Watson to slot home within seconds of the restart and moments later, Ian Rhucroft was fouled in the box, allowing Lee Brennan to make it 4-0 from the spot.
Watson completed his treble with a fine solo effort, that involved muscling past his marker on the left flank, cutting inside and curling low past the keeper. It took the 24-year-old to 40 goals for the season and the villagers to 100 league strikes, this term.
There was still time for more, however, as Marc Kipling lobbed home the goal of the game and substitute Rob Ingham fired in an angled drive that was every bit as emphatic as the scoreline.
Howard told the Whitby Gazette: “We are trying to play good football and the summer signings were picked to integrate with the talents from our first season together.
“That coupled with the relentless effort put in off the pitch by everyone on the board to establish us.
“We move on now and start preparing for pre-season and the challenges a higher division will create.”
One of those summer signings was 40-goal front-man Watson, who said: “It’s a team game.
“If it wasn’t for everyone else, I wouldn’t have been putting them in the back of the net. It’s all about people laying it on a plate for you. When they do that, it makes my job easy.”
Sleights finish their campaign with a 100% home record, pipping Pier by a point, and received their runners-up trophy and medals, after the game from league secretary Geoff Nellist, who also paid tribute to the club’s tireless secretary Wendy Fletcher.
Sleights 7 Cayton Cor Res 0