Knaresborough Town Reserves manager Mike Bligh paid credit to the ‘consistently brilliant’ Brad Walker as the teenager hit four goals in the win over Ripon City on Saturday.
Walker dropped back into the reserve side to face Steve Donoughue’s men after Knaresborough Town’s match against Dronfield Town was called off on the morning of the match.
The 19-year-old wasted no time in getting himself back amongst the goals for Bligh’s side, scoring in the first minute and then on the quarter hour mark.
James McDaid’s penalty gave Ripon a half time lifeline but Walker’s hat-trick goal five minute after the break before adding his and Knaresborough’s fourth six minutes from time put the clash beyond their reach.
Fraser Lancaster made it five with the last kick of the game but it was Walker who stole the headlines with Bligh paying tribute to the teenager.
He said: “I was fairly confident going in to the game knowing Ripon were struggling away from home, only picking up a point on their travels so far.
“Brad’s been consistently brilliant this season, whether for the reserves or for the first team, he’s always managed to find the back of the net.
“He put Ripon to the sword with his four goals. He reads the game well, his anticipation pays off for him, he’s sharp and has great composure when he’s through on goal.
“I felt for Ripon a little bit because they played the better football in the first half and it was not until I changed the system to nullify their attack that we got a hold of the game.”
The reserves face Otley Town on Saturday with Bligh wary they will have their ‘tails up’ after an impressive 3-2 away victory over high-flying Bardsey on Saturday.
Bligh’s side were not the only team to benefit from the first team’s match being called off at the weekend as Knaresborough Celtic brought in some fresh faces for their league cup match against Kirk Deighton Rangers.
Amory Lewis’ goal was enough to knock out second placed Rangers from the competition with manager Chris Hirst classing him as the best player on the pitch ‘by far’.
He said: “Every time we have played the top three teams we have always come up a little bit short but this week we were really strong.
“I was very pleased to get them involved. I’m not saying we would not have coped without them but it gave us that bit extra.
“We’ve got one of the bigger sides out the way so it’s a great chance for some silverware.”