Ashley Flynn claimed the match ball with a stunning 15-minute first half hat-trick – but Golcar United still had to do it the hard way to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Flynn’s quickfire treble proved enough to clinch a 4-3 victory over Nelson FC but it should have been game over at half-time.

The 32-year-old former Emley and Yorkshire Amateurs striker, who joined from Liversedge this summer, led from the front and showed he’s lost none of his finishing ability.

Golcar drew at Holker Old Boys on the opening day and then beat Campion 3-2, coming from behind in both games.

They conceded first once again when another in-form striker, Brian Mabhena, smashed home a brilliant effort from 25 yards inside the first five minutes.

Flynn, who opened his account for the season at Campion on Tuesday, levelled with a low shot that went in off the upright in the 18th minute.

Flynn pounced again with a cool finish into the bottom corner nine minutes later.

Ashley Flynn fires home his first goal v Nelson FC.

Golcar had the bit between their teeth and it was 3-1 two minutes after that when Danny Naidole rose above everyone to power home a header from Dan Stocker’s pinpoint free-kick.

Flynn then had the Golcar faithful dreaming of a rout as he made it 4-1 just past the half hour mark.

The scoreline remained the same at the break and Nelson, with nothing to lose, went for it from the re-start.

The visitors were back in the game with two harsh-looking penalties.

A downpour at the end of the first half had left the surface slippery and a cross skidded across the box and evaded everyone but Kiero Lawrence went into a challenge with Charlie Lloyd and a decision could have gone either way.

The referee ruled against Lawrence and Dylan Meredith shrugged off the Golcar protests and fired home from the spot in the 56th minute.

Eleven minutes later it was 4-3 when the referee awarded another penalty for alleged handball by Gregg Porter and Meredith sent keeper Frankie McLachlan the wrong way.

Danny Naidole heads home a Dan Stoker free-kick

Golcar were struggling to get out of their own half and had to be grateful to 40-year-old McLachlan who rolled back the years on his first start of the season, diving at the feet of an attacker to smother a chance and then produced a brilliant tip over save from Max Cane’s header.

Naidole fired over late on as Golcar rallied. The home side regained control at the back and comfortably held out for the points.

Joint manager Ash Connor praised his team afterwards to a man and said: “It was a great result for us and a great game for the neutral once again.

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“It looked like everything Ashley Flynn touched would go in and that’s what we brought him here for, to score goals. They were four good goals. The free-kick was a great ball from Stocker and a great header from Danny.”

The 4-1 scoreline at half-time was a potential problem for Golcar as the visitors had nothing to lose and Connor said: “At 4-1 they might as well risk losing 7-1 as 4-1 and they came at us from the off. We told the players at half-time that if they scored the next goal they would have their tails up.

“Then they got the penalties. Whether the first one is a penalty or not the referee has given it and the second one with the handball was a little bit harsh but we held out and defended well.

Handball, ref?

“Frankie had a great game and made two great saves. He’s got good experience and he’s been on the bench and has had to wait for his first start and he’s done well. He’s 40-years-old and still making saves like that.”

Connor said while the last two games had been thrillers for the fans, they weren’t good for the heart rates of he and Gav on the touchline.

“If it goes on like this I might be grey by the end of the season – although I would probably rather be grey than ginger,” he grinned, stroking his (still ginger) beard.

‘A quiet word in your ear, referee…’
Ash Flynn celebrates his hattrick