West signed off their season at home in the sunshine with an impressive 6-1 demolition of already relegated Cammell Laird.
Ahead of a hectic final week of the season West manager Steve Settle reshuffled his side as he handed starts to Carlos Mendes Gomes and Ben Steer with Georgi Whyment continuing his recent run in the team whilst Josh Tinker returned from suspension in place of Richmond Botchey.
West were out of the blocks quickly and hit the post after just three minutes as Steer’s long throw was cleared only as far as Mendes Gomes whose effort struck the foot of the post from the edge of the area. Their pressure was rewarded after six minutes when a throw in found Matty Kay at the near post, the West number 10 did superbly to turn and find Steer with his cross at the far post to present Steer with a tap in on the line.
On 9 minutes Kay went close again for West as his free kick was bent over the wall with goalkeeper Kieran Hamn did well to push round the post. Kay was involved at the other end as well as he was called into action on 16 minutes to clear a header off the post. Three minute later was Kay was influential again as his low free kick deceived the Laird’s defence and Joe Shaw fire a first time effort into back across goal to make it 2-0.
West continued to create chances as a wonderful through ball released Steer but he hit his shot into the ground allowing Hamn to push his effort away. On 27 minutes Hamn was called into action again as he pushed away a hard Tinker effort from the edge of the area. Two minutes later and Shaw almost added his second as he headed over from a Steer throw in.
It was 3-0 on 31 minutes when Matty Kay added a deserved goal beating Hamn from the penalty spot with a delightful panenka; chipping the ball down the middle after Tinker had been tripped through on goal. Credit must go to Lairds who didn’t give up and got a goal back as a superb cross found Joshua Maldon at the far post who headed down for Charlie MacInnes to finish from close range.
Any fears of a comeback were quashed four minutes before half time as Georgi Whyment got himself on the scoresheet as he combined with Matty Kay before lashing a hard effort into the top corner from the edge of the area. Steer and Kay both went close again with good chances to extend the lead before half time but West went into the half with a commanding lead.
The second half was a slightly more subdued affair after West’s rampant first half but they added their fifth on 57 minutes when Steer saw his shot saved by Hamn one-on-one but the rebound fell to Tinker who slotted home beyond two men on the line. It was Tinker’s first goal for West since joining from Maine Road. With Monday’s game in mind, West rang the changes as Jimmy Woodward and Michael Simcock, making his first appearance since the opening day of the season, replaced Ben Steer and Josh Tinker.
Lairds had a chance to reduce the deficit on 75 minutes when Kev McGrath was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the area. However Aaron Ashley was up to the task and brilliantly saved Maldon’s penalty, reaching low down to his left to keep the shot out. There was time for a rare substitute appearance for the manager as Settle replaced Mendes Gomes to a big ovation from the home supporters. Setts’ had a hand in the final goal as he broke down the right before finding Kay at the edge of the area; his reverse pass played in Whyment one-on-one and he added his second finishing between Hamn’s legs capping off a fine West performance.