TOP-FLIGHT Laxey produced a clinical performance to ease past JCK Division Two Douglas Royal 0-6 and into the quarter-finals of the Paddy Power FA Cup on Saturday.
Three goals in each half from Johnny Callow, Nigel Beattie, Mark Wolfenden (2) and Ashley Webster (2) ensured the Glen Road side emerged unscathed from their trip to Ballafletcher and a Royal side that had dumped Premier League outfit Union Mills out of the prestigious competition in the previous round.
To their credit, Royal worked hard throughout and had they taken some of the opportunities they created in front of goal they may have run Steve Falconer’s visitors closer.
After a bright Royal start, Laxey’s island strikers Webster and Wolfenden began to test the home team’s offside trap as assistant referee Billy Crowe briefly became the busiest man on the park.
The Laxey attack eventually clicked just shy of the quarter of the hour mark when Callow perfectly placed a header past Royal keeper Ian Took after being picked out on the edge of the area by Sam Theobald’s deep free kick.
Just six minutes later the Miners struck again Beattie heading another past Took after connecting well with roving full-back Gary Williams’s whipped cross into the box.
Two turned into three nine minutes before the break as Callow unlocked the Royal defence with a lovely through ball that released the ever-willing Webster. The former Ramsey attacker forced a fine save from Took only for the ball to fall kindly to Wolfenden who lashed home his first of the afternoon.
Nicky Gerrard and Nicky Smith’s charges did their best to hit back as the half-time whistle approached. Top scorer Paul Whitley and Richard Winn had looked most likely to find a way back into the first round tie for their side and the two combined to give Ryan ? a good chance, but the Royal number 10 fired over from the edge of the area.
Whitley then forced a good block out of visiting custodian Andy Perry as it looked as if Royal’s endeavour might finally bare some fruit.
The home side’s encouraging spell continued into the start of the second period and Whitley again went close with a header at a Royal corner.
Royal’s hopes were soon dashed in the 52nd minute when Williams delivered another good ball into the home team’s box that Webster gratefully nodded past Took.
The fourth goal further buoyed the Miners’ confidence levels and they soon began to dominate the game’s possession producing some lovely passing football along the way. One such team move created a chance for Webster on the edge of the area, which the Laxey number nine drove just over the bar.
At the other end of the pitch Royal mustered a good counter that Adam Pate nearly converted, as his first-time shot from 20 yards flashed agonisingly across the face of goal.
Laxey continued to press and a fifth goal came their way in the 69th minute when Wolfenden turned home Callow’s driven cross from the left.
Callow was again in the thick of the action for the Miners’ sixth. The fleet-footed midfielder rounded Took after breaking clear of the Royal defence before laying the ball back to Webster who drilled in a low shot.
Despite the scoreline, Royal continued to battle in the tie’s closing stages and Whitley again went close to grabbing the goal his efforts deserved.
However, it was perhaps fitting that Laxey enjoyed the game’s last real chance. In stoppage time substitute Peter Callow forced a fine save out of Took after the Laxey replacement low shot looked to be creeping in the right-hand corner of the goal.
Douglas Royal: Ian Took, Adam Boyde (Kevin Ballard 77m), Stuart Foley, Greg Hoskisson (c), Richie McCan, Gavin Gawne, Andrew Lancaster, Richard Winn (Matty Entwistle 83m), Paul Whitley, Ryan Kelly (Nick Ford 68m), Adam Pate.
Laxey: Andy Perry, Gary Williams, Ryan Williamson, Sam Theobald, Neil Brogan (c), Paul Rowley (Declan Cummins 63m), Nigel Beattie (Michael Haslett 69m), Johnny Callow, Danny Oram, Ashley Webster, Mark Wolfenden (Peter Callow 72m).000
Referee: Glen Weir
Assistants: Billy Crowe and Jonathan Hogg
Booked: McCann, Lancaster
Match rating: 3*