HAVING lost the gruelling midweek encounter with table-topping Cargo Fleet by the odd goal in seven, Fishburn Park welcomed the team from the opposite end of the table, Darlington GSRA, to Broomfield Park on Saturday.
Family commitments denied Al Price of the services Joey Benali, thetwo-goal man of the match debutant of the mid-week clash.
An injury accounted for the loss of Callum Gibson and Neil Hart was unavailable. Skipper Mark Waterfield returned from injury and Jack Wilson joined the squad. Fitness doubts over Ryan Braithwaite meant he was on the bench.
Despite the amount of rain over the preceding two nights, the pitch at Broomfield Park was in excellent condition, thanks to the recently installed drainage and Park were fast out of the traps.
From kick-off, the visitors were put under pressure as they struggled to cope with the pace and passing game of Fishburn.
In the 16th minute, the home side were awarded a corner after the GSRA ‘keeper was forced to turn a Richardson shot around the post at full stretch. The corner caused the visiting defence all manner of problems and James Organ-Simpson was first to react and he pounced on a far post knock down from Neil Waterfield to lash the ball home from eight yards.
The second goal came seven minutes later, again from a corner. Mark Tose, who had a superb game at left back, curled the ball under the bar, leaving the keeper stranded.
Although Organ-Simpson laid claim to the goal he was adjudged to have touched the ball after it crossed the line and it was credited to Tose.
The second half started pretty much as the first half finished, although the visitors rallied, the Park defence coped well with any danger.
Jamie Lorrains (16), a revelation since joining the squad from last season’s all-conquering Fishburn U16s’ squad, was forced off after 55 minutes having taken a knock, with Rich Lane replacing him at right midfield.
Fishburn continued to create chances with debutante Jack Wilson being at the heart of many of the good moves.
But it was his replacement Braithwaite who scored almost as soon as he entered play. A superb ball from Mark Waterfield sent him free down the left flank and he cut in, leaving the right back trailing, rounded the ‘keeper and calmly slotted the ball into an open net to wrap the game up.
His second goal came at the 80 minute mark when he pounced on a mistake by the visiting centre half and rifled his shot past a motionless keeper to put the game beyond doubt and give Fishburn a much-deserved 4-0 victory, their first win of the season.
However, it could have been more. James Ward, joining his two brothers on the field, was denied his first goal for the club by the width of a post.
Organ-Simpson was twice denied by fingertip saves, Dean and Callum Ward both had shots cleared off the line and Sam Richardson almost added to his tally with a near post header and a low shot.
Fishburn Park: Watson, Tose, N Waterfield, M Waterfield, D Wilson, J Lorrains (Lane 55) C Ward, D Ward , J Wilson (Braithwaite 65) Organ-Simpson, Richardson (J Ward 80); Subs not used: Locker, Blackburn; man of the match: N Waterfield; match sponsored by Abbey Gas
This Saturday (3rd Sep) Park are away to North Ormesby in a Teesside League encounter. Park will not be at home again until the end of the month although Park Reserves start their season at home on Saturday.
Fishburn Park 4 Darlington GSRA 0