Sean Hunter took home the match-ball as the Paul Marshall-effect refuses to rub off at Garforth Town after a sensational 6-1 victory over ten-man Thackley.
Under Marshall, Garforth have picked up 16 Toolstation NCEL Premier Division points out of a possible 18 and they are now even in contention for a potential promotion push.
Garforth have enjoyed few days in the sun since Steve Nichol took them to the NPL Division One North play-offs in 2012, but this result is certainly up there with their best of the last seven years and it is one that is likely to bring the crowds back.
The Miners had a huge stroke luck as the turning point came when Thackley’s Sebastian Scaroni saw red for his challenge on Sam Leach.
Up until then, Thackley’s front two had been really dangerous and it could be strongly argued that the visitors had been the better side.
Marshall’s troops seized the initiative and Hunter’s through ball set Sam Barker into a good position. The midfielder took inside and cooly slotted past Thackley’s Garforth-born goalkeeper Luke Wilson.
Thackley remained a firm threat and the home side were lucky to escape when goalkeeper Jordan Harding made a brilliant save and then Dan Williams headed off-the-line.
A low drive into the far post from Hunter doubled Garforth’s lead on the stroke of half-time.
That was a killer moment and when Mark Simpson rounded Wilson to score his 99th Garforth three minutes into the second half, Thackley sustained a lethal blow.
Thackley kept playing, but Garforth, playing with huge confidence and backed by a crowd demanding more goals, put their foot on the accelerator.
It was like the Nichol days as the swash-buckling Garforth attack created chance after chance.
Leach, making a rare foray forward, carved out the fourth as his guile paved the way for a brilliant cross for Hunter to nod home.
An Alex Low header from a corner provided the fifth before Hunter sealed his treble.
Once again Garforth pulled the visitors apart down the right. Helmo Silva sent a low cross across the six-yard-box. Hunter, with his back to goal, turned and smashed a rocket against the underside of the crossbar. The assistant referee gave the goal.
Curtly Martin-Wyatt went close near the end, while Hunter was inches away from a fourth on his own tally.
Thackley did score a deserved goal in added time as Asa Mitchell was given room to steam in on goal.