ROYTON Town had to rewrite their own record books after their reserves notched an astonishing 17-0 win.
And the same manager celebrated a relatively modest 8-0 success just 24 hours later!
The match against Old Altrinchamians Reserves on Saturday, January 18 will live long in the memory after Paul Gidley’s side went goal crazy.
Not bad considering they did it without their top scorer going into the game!
Zach Gemmell was the main beneficiary by scoring five goals in the Manchester League Division Four clash, which was held away at Crossford Bridge.
Amin Aden would have felt hard done to by scoring four and not getting the highest tally.
Ethan Sutcliffe helped himself to a hat-trick while Connor Kerrigan grabbed two and Will Morgan, Harry Snape and Andrew Simpson ‘only’ one each.
The result blew manager Gidley, whose Under-13s side defeated Longridge Town 8-0 in the County Cup on Sunday, January 19, away.
He said: “I didn’t even know before the game that it was a record. It was only when it got to 11-0 that a couple of committee members mentioned it.
“And we managed it without Travis Martin, who was our top scorer going into the game. He’s not exactly happy at missing out through injury!
“It’s not like they only had nine or 10 players, they had plenty of bodies but it’s probably fair to say they won’t be the strongest opposition we’ll face this season.
“And it could be vital as we go for promotion. We’re second now and last season was tight, so it could go down to goal difference.”
The massive win – described as ‘unique and remarkable’ by Manchester League bosses – is just the latest record that has fallen.
Only the week before, the reserves fielded the youngest ever side, featuring a 16-year-old goalkeeper, eight 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old.
On that occasion, they found themselves 2-0 down to an experienced Walshaw side but they came back to win 6-4.
And there was no goal glut – all 17 goals came at fairly regular intervals.
Paul added: “I think it was seven or eight at half-time, so it was a fairly even distribution of goals but when it became known we were on for a record, it was good to rattle in a few more in the last 10 minutes.
“And we needed to make our goal difference a little better. We needed a big win.
“But I felt a bit sorry for the Old Alts players and staff. It can’t be nice getting beaten 17-0. I’ve certainly never been involved in a 17-0 before.”
Royton Town’s reserves’ record will put first team bosses on alert about bringing players into their set up.
Already Jack Howard, who has been at the club since the age of eight, has graduated while a number of other players have featured.
And fortunes in the Manchester League Premier Division have seen them start 2020 with a much needed win over Stockport Georgians.
After 30 minutes, they were losing 3-0 and trailed 4-2 at half time but three goals in the closing stages turned the game around and Royton notched a 5-4 victory.
They are now five points off the bottom of the table before facing league leaders Dukinfield Town on Saturday, January 25 before starting February with a double header against Pennington.
Paul’s junior side is also well on the road to glory as the U13s saw off Longridge Town Juniors in the third round of the Lancashire FA’s Kingsley Finance County Youth Cup just a day after the 17-0 success.
Now they face New Longton Rovers at home on Sunday, January 26 and if they win that, they will head to Blackburn to face Wilpshire Wanderers in the quarter-finals on Sunday, February 2.
“They’re a really promising group,” Paul said. “We’ve played three rounds in the County Cup so far and won 9-1, 11-2 and 8-0.”