Shirebrook Town’s top scorer Aaron Moxam’s growing tally of goals increased to an incredible 22 already this season with an astonishing seven-goal haul at Langwith Road on Saturday as Town equalled their biggest-ever recorded win, thumping 12 goals without reply past struggling Scunthorpe-based side Appleby Frodingham.
With only eight of Julian Watts’ squad staying on at the club following the former manager’s recent departure, the Shirebrook side named for this NCEL Division One game had a significantly different look about it.
New manager Kevin Gee had acted quickly and taken his number of signings to eight with full back Conor Shirley, central defender Wayne Diuk, striker Nathan Adams and midfielder Max Pemberton joining earlier signings Gavin Saxby, Kristian Witcombe, Jamie Brown and Daniel Blair ahead of the game.
Meanwhile, third-bottom Appleby Frodingham had taken a creditable point in their struggle to move away from the wrong end of the table from their last outing against tough opposition in Pontefract Collieries.
So the outcome of the game was less than certain for mid-table Shirebrook.
But Brown soon settled the nerves of the Langwith Road faithful when he gave the home side the lead with just two minutes played.
He put the ball into the open net from six yards after former Rainworth Miners’ Welfare favourite Adams gave a hint of what he will bring to the side and picked him out with a pass from inside the box on the right.
Brown then turned provider with a cross from wide on the right on nine minutes that found skipper Craig Getliff free 12 yards from goal.
His first touch let him down, but a mix-up between Appleby goalkeeper Michael Guilliatt and one of his defenders saw the ball run loose, and Moxam pounced on the error to open his account for the afternoon.
Adams made it 3-0 on 15 minutes, his debut goal for the club coming from Moxam’s lay-off after another telling cross from Brown on the right.
Moxam scored his second on 26 minutes and then bagged himself a hat-trick 10 minutes later after linking up well with Danny Booth from the left to make it 5-0 to Shirebrook with a shot across keeper Guilliatt from 12 yards at the near post.
With that the game looked over by half-time, although it might have been worse for the visitors when Brown hit the foot of an upright two minutes before the interval.
Appleby had appeared to offer very little resistance, but, in all fairness, Shirebrook had looked unstoppable up to that point.
The home side might have been forgiven if they had taken their foot off the pedal at the start of the second half as the rain began to pour down.
For their part, the visitors would probably have been hoping for that, but Shirebrook soon showed that wasn’t about to happen and Moxam found the back of the net again just four minutes after the restart, before Adams notched up his second a minute later to give the home side a 7-0 lead.
Shirebrook still weren’t done and Moxam skipped past three in the box to score his fifth goal on the hour, and four minutes later he latched onto more slackness by keeper Guilliatt before slotting the ball home to complete a magnificent double hat-trick for himself.
Appleby’s only shot of the game came on 67 minutes, but Jack Siddall’s free kick from the corner of the box on the left failed to find the target and sailed over Saxby’s crossbar.
Two minutes later, second half substitute Blair took the home side’s score into double figures, his first goal for the club a 20-yard left foot effort that went in low at the right hand post.
Shirebrook debutant Pemberton made it 11-0 after coming off the bench earlier in the half, the former Sheffield FC youngster scoring a peach of a goal with a delightful chip over keeper Guilliatt, who came off his line to close the player down after he had run 30 yards unchallenged into the Appleby box.
Perhaps fittingly, Moxam had the final word with his seventh goal three minutes from time, rounding keeper Guilliatt to score at the right hand post and make it an incredible round dozen for Shirebrook, who also managed to stay focused at the other end and keep a clean sheet.
The emphatic victory ended a winless run of nine games for Shirebrook and the scoreline equals their previous biggest-ever margin, which was on their way to taking the 2001-2002 Central Midlands League Supreme Division title, a 12-0 home win in late December 2001 over near-neighbours Clipstone Welfare.
Ironically, Shirebrook keeper Saxby was in the goal that day – for Clipstone.
Next up, Shirebrook take a break from league matters to make the relatively short trip to Central Midlands South Division side Pinxton FC on Tuesday night for a Second Round tie in the Derbyshire Senior Cup. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Shirebrook return to Langwith Road and their league programme on Saturday when the visitors will be mid-table rivals Grimsby Borough for a 3pm kick-off.
SHIREBROOK TOWN: Saxby, Shirley, Claridge, Booth, Diuk, Witcombe, Brown (Bachner 61), Getliff, Moxam, Adams (Blair 61), Bacon (Pemberton 54). Subs not used: Hartley.
APPLEBY FRODINGHAM: Guilliatt, Johnson, Raithby, Forrest, Clements, Beacroft, Turgoose, Yamah, Siddall, Rodgers, Mills. Subs not used: Holtby.
REFEREE: Nigel Haycock of West Yorkshire.