Goal-den Greg shoots Villa to impressive win

Euxton Villa v Thornton Cleveleys Football remembers

Euxton Villa v Thornton Cleveleys Football remembers

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There was a real case of deja vu for Mark McDonnell’s Euxton Villa on Saturday.

For the second week running, fifth-placed Villa scored three unanswered goals in the West Lancashire League Premier Division.

And again for the second week running, Greg Johnstone scored a brace of goals and Ian Billington also got his name on the score sheet.

Last week Villa ran out convincing 3-0 winners away at Hesketh Bank and on Saturday it was much of the same as they made light work of visitors Thornton Cleveleys.

Both sides came together prior to the kick off to have a joint team picture commemorating the First World War Christmas Day match.

Once the action got under way, it was a largely dominant display from the Runshaw Hall Lane outfit with former Bamber Bridge striker Johnstone providing Villa the lead after 20 minutes.

The lead was soon doubled as Billington bagged his third goal in as many games.

One minute into the second half and the goalscoring was completed as Johnstone scored his second of the game and his fifth goal in three games.

It was another fine performance from Villa who seem to be reaping the benefits of Johnstone leading the front line.

Villa boss McDonnell said: “I’m delighted that we managed to get the win.

“There is a great team spirit at the moment and Greg Johnstone has been excellent since he returned.

“We hope to finish well before Christmas and I have got a real selection headache.

“The second half of the season will be a big one, as the top three have to come to us.”

It was a lively start at the Jim Fowler Memorial Playing Fields.

From the off, Euxton looked to establish their dominance, with Hogg in particular causing plenty of problems down the right hand side.

It was Hogg who created the first chance as his pass saw a Byron Andrew shot blocked on the line.

After 20 minutes, Hogg pulled the ball back and the on-rushing Johnstone lashed a shot into corner to give Villa the lead.

The lively Billington doubled the scoreline soon after pouncing on a loose ball in the area before finding the net.

Prior to that, keeper Gibbs pulled off a fine save denying Brett Dawson at the front post.

The game could have been put to bed in the first half but Hogg’s shot from an acute angle nestled into the side netting.

One minute into the second half, Johnstone was at his most clinical when striking a right-footed effort into the corner.

Darren Davies, Dan Birkby and Danny Marland all came on from the bench and

impressed.

Johnstone could have sealed a hat-trick late on but he was denied smartly by the Thornton keeper.

n Coppull United’s scheduled home game against Crooklands Casuals was called off due to a frozen pitch.

This Saturday, they make the journey to Fleetwood Hesketh while Euxton host Burnley United.