Sun Postal warm up for cup final by thrashing Langford

Sun Postal manager Paul Hobbs pictured alongside hat-trick hero James Armstrong

Sun Postal manager Paul Hobbs pictured alongside hat-trick hero James Armstrong

First published in Sport

Sun Postal warmed up for this week's Herts Senior Centenary Cup final by slamming eight goals past Langford at the weekend to continue their promotion charge.

Paul Hobbs' side face Belstone at the County Ground in Letchworth on Wednesday night and any scouts the County League side sent down to Bellmount Wood Avenue on Saturday would have been returned to Radlett concerned about the firepower Sun possess.

James Armstrong sparked the rout with the first inside two minutes after a slide-rull ball from Ryan Luke. 

Teenage midfielder Luke went from architect to executioner minutes later with his maiden goal for the first team. Five more goals followed in a one-sided first half, with Armstrong, Nathan Pooley, Craig Lynskey, Scott Bonner and Elton Scarlet all on the scoresheet.

It was a dream 45 minutes for the manager whose plans were thrown into chaos when Danny Tompkins injured his ankle in the warm-up, forcing Hobbs, 48, to name himself on the bench alongside 44-year-old keeper Andy Hopping.

Hopping replaced Ross Hampton at half-time to give him some exposure as Hampton will miss the next three league games due to a holiday. The Langford manager, Ryan Brooke, kept his side out on the pitch during the break in a scene reminiscent of the tactic used by Phil Brown when in charge of Hull against Manchester City.

Brooke, who coaches Hertfordshire's Under-18 side, read his side the riot act and they responded with a vastly-improved second-half performance, reducing the deficit to 7-1 at one stage.

With Wednesday's final in mind, Sun took their foot off the gas but Armstrong did manage to complete his hat-trick, heading in a Pooley corner to take his league tally to 25 for the season, despite missing 13 games through injury.

Hobbs' hopes of adding Harry Hunt, the Harpenden's 25-goal striker, to his attacking options ended when Hunt opted to remain Amenbury Lane following a seven-day approach.

The win, against a Langford side who have won just two of their last 53 Division One games, cemented Sun's position at the top of Division One and means they have scored more goals than anyone else.

The cup final takes place at the County Ground on Wednesday with a 7.45pm kick-off. 


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