March back to winning ways with a Gillies master class
March Town 2, Whitton United 0
Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division
There was a dream first game in charge at Robingoodfellows Lane today for interim manager Ash Taylor as the Hares got their first points on the board at the sixth time of asking.
After five straight defeats had left them just above the relegation places and seen former manager Arran Duke pay with his job, the home side finally clicked and put in a great team performance.
Craig Gillies led the line superbly, won every header and was commanding in both boxes, supported ably by strike partners Jack Friend and Jack Frohawk. Keeper Simon Dalton commanded his area and was shielded by the defensive wall of captain Max Mattless and his deputy Danny Emmington.
Josh Burrows was always looking to get on the ball in midfield, Lewis Gibson was as dangerous as ever from set pieces and there was plenty of bite provided too by full backs Sam Garner and Jack Saunders and combative midfielder Jack Rawson.
With a vocal crowd behind them, newly-promoted March made the perfect start with a goal in the third minute. Friend played through Gillies, who had two efforts blocked by defenders before the ball came back to Friend and he curled home a left footed effort from 15 yards.
The home side stayed on top for the rest of the half, but it was not until the latter stages that they really threatened again. Gillies was a couple of inches from turning home Burrows' great cross from the right after an incisive pass by Garner in the 33rd minute.
Six minutes later and Gillies' bullet header from Gibson's corner cannoned back off the post and then, just before the break, Friend looped in a cross from the left and Frohawk's deft header drifted agonisingly wide.
Whitton started the second half with much more purpose and Dalton had to stretch to make a flying save from an Ollie Dunlop pile driver in the 57th minute.
But March never looked in danger again and sealed the points with 20 minutes left when Gillies picked up the ball on the edge of the area, moved it on to his right foot and placed home a curling effort from 15 yards.
Visiting keeper Jack Spurling, who impressed so much in a 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Wisbech Town two weeks ago, was at it again as he kept the scoreline respectable in the final 10 minutes.
First he was down low to deny Gibson from a 20-yard free kick, then he pulled off a point blank double to keep out Gillies and sub Steff Cavozzi and, with the last attack of the match, denied another great shot from Gillies.
March Town (4-3-3, r-l): Dalton; Garner, Mattless, Emmington, Saunders; Gibson (Green), Rawson, Burrows; Frohawk (Cavozzi 69), Gillies, Friend. Subs (not used): Dearlove, Short.
Bookings: Rawson (March); Pelling, Robinson, Hubert (Whitton).
Star man: Craig Gillies - involved in both goals and commanding in both boxes.