West Auckland 1-5 Dunston UTS.
HOW best to describe what happened at the Wanted Stadium last night?
Being charitable, you could say it was a collective off night as the hosts leaked all five goals in the first 45 minutes against a Dunston team that was simply superior in all areas.
The visitors were first to the ball, first to the follow up; their passing was crisp and direct and West’s defensive shortcomings were cruelly exposed.
While West are always entertaining going forward – 43 league goals and counting – they are shipping two goals a game at the back.
Dunston’s centre forward Mark Fitzpatrick scored the first of his hat-trick in the 14th minute, the result of a neat passing move on the edge of the area.
Liam Thear doubled the lead with an excellent first time shot from 18 yards out and the game was effectively over when Lewis Galpin handled the ball to give Dunston a penalty. Fitzpatrick made no mistake.
His third came shortly after when he ran through onto a simple ball over the top and rounded keeper Adam McHugh.
Scott Heslop added a fifth in first half time added on, a scrambled effort in which McHugh should have done better.
The only highlight for West was Adam Mitchell’s exquisitely taken free kick to give the hosts a consolation on 71 minutes.
Nathan Fisher came close to adding a second in the dying minutes when his low shot hit the post.
Manager Gary Forrest will be looking for a vast improvement on Saturday when West host Stockton (3pm kick-off).