Our Under-23 progressed to the semi-finals of the North Riding Senior Cup after a thoroughly professional victory at Wearside League side Redcar Athletic.
In atrocious weather conditions, a healthy crowd of around 300 watched a very young Boro side turn on the style, taking the lead after just seven minutes when Patrick Reading advanced from his left back position to plant a 25-yard shot into the bottom right hand corner.
It was very nearly 2-0 just five minutes later when a Drew Eastlake corner was flicked narrowly wide by Stephen Walker (pictured).
Respite for the home side didn’t last long as Boro doubled their advantage on 14 minutes through striker Tyrone O’Neill. Billal Brahimi played a delightful ball through the middle to O’Neill, who chested down beautifully before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.
On 28 minutes there was nearly a carbon copy of the first goal when Reading hit a ferocious 25-yard shot which was deflected narrowly wide of the right hand post. From the resultant corner, taken by Brahimi, Connor Malley’s header was well saved by Lowrie.
Despite the driving rain, Boro were knocking the ball around with plenty of zip and duly scored a third goal after 31 minutes when Stephen Walker cut in from the left wing to lash the ball home.
Further chances fell to Walker and Brahimi, with Lowrie pulling off good saves before Walker made it 4-0 on 38 minutes with an outstanding goal. The ball was drilled over to the right hand edge of the box where Walker chased after it with the Redcar goalkeeper in pursuit and drilled in an audacious shot from an acute angle.
Half time: Redcar Athletic 0 Boro U23s 4
The weather abated slightly after the interval but there was no let up from the rampant Boro side.
Walker grabbed his hat-trick on the hour after coolly slotting the ball past Lowrie, then two minutes later Brahimi scampered down the left side before squaring to O’Neill to score his second. The seventh and final goal of the game came on 75 minutes when the impressive Brahimi picked the ball up and lashed in a curling shot from 20 yards.
Full time: Redcar Athletic 0 Boro U23s 7
Goalscorers: Reading 7, O’Neill 14, 62, Walker 31, 38, 60, Brahimi, 75
Redcar Athletic: Lowrie, Cooper (Bivens 66), Webster, Browne, Kirk, Abel, Rivis, Bennett, Preston, Woodhouse, Jones. Subs: Simpson, Stewart, Drazdauskas, Woodall.
Boro U23s: Hemming; Storey, Reading (Drummond 71), L Cooke, Guru (captain) (Robinson 71), Dale, Brahimi, Malley, O’Neill (Wearne 71), Walker, Eastlake. Subs: Brynn (gk), Dodds.
Referee: Ross Joyce
Conditions: Driving rain and cold.
The draw for the semi-final takes place this Tuesday, February 13, at 6.30pm live on BBC Tees Sport.
The three other teams are Thornaby, Scarborough Athletic and York City.
Photos: Trevor Wilkinson