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More goals please

We want more goals, came the cry from over the pond. Before hosting the 1994 World Cup, US big-wigs suggested increasing the dimensions of the goal.

When a country is fed on a diet of largely high scoring sports you can hardly blame them. Their argument was it would make football more entertaining. Watch 40 games a season and around 30 per cent of them will be bad.

You know the ones. You get home or turn off the TV and wonder what else you could have done with that two hours of life you will never get back.

Goals aren’t a pre-requisite for entertainment. Some of the best games are tense goalless draws or a blood and thunder 1-0 where the winner is scored via someone’s derriere on the line.

While increasing the size of goals is no doubt a ridiculous suggestion – some goalkeepers get lobbed enough as it is – there is no denying we all love a goal glut.

The opening weekend of the Blue Square Bet Premier served up almost too many goals to get in the paper – 42 in all.

Nine goals in one game 

Ebbsfleet and Nuneaton shared nine as the Fleet ran out 5-4 winners, and that was after Boro had taken an early 2-0 lead, while Newport County upset Mansfield 4-3.

The early rounds of the FA Cup are always ripe for a hungry striker to fill his boots. Last weekend Northern League Guisborough Town beat Northallerton 5-4 and Pilkington XXX won by the same score against Atherstone.

Suddenly hours sitting through snooze-fests seem worth it.

There will be plenty more high-scoring thrillers over the next nine months. Whether any will rival a stand-out result from last season remains to be seen.

The fans at Stone Dominoes’ Springbank home probably went home after an incredible 13-goal epic against Runcorn Linnets unsure about what they’d just witnessed.

Linnets ran out 8-5 winners in a North West Counties league clash last October but that tells only a tiny part of the story.

Three hat-tricks 

Three hat-tricks – two of which were the perfect left, right, header, the first completed after just four minutes of the game and the other in just six second-half minutes – a first touch 35-yard screamer, an outfield player going in goal, almost the comeback of comebacks from 6-1 down and barely enough time to take a breath.

With just 30 seconds on the clock Kev Towey put the visitors ahead with a header, a minute later he made it two and after four minutes he’d completed a stunning quick-fire perfect treble.

Two goals from Rob Whyte and one from Paul Prescott eased Runcorn into a 6-1 lead with 58 minutes gone before Stone Dominoes boss Shaun Hollinshead chucked on Dwayne Spence – and the fight-back began.

With his first touch Spence rasped one in from 35-yards, nodded in on 66 minutes before making it 6-4 just 60 seconds later to wrap up a six-minute triple whammy.

In his efforts to keep Spence out for a third time Runcorn keeper Damien Eastham injured his wrist meaning forward Matty Atherton had to pull on the gloves.

A penalty from Dominoes’ Andy Matthews made it 6-5 with 14 minutes still left to play. They still had time to hit the bar before Whyte scooped the third match ball of the afternoon and Danny Smith banged his side’s eighth and goal number 13 of an end-to-end humdinger.

Victorious Linnets boss Paul McNally said at the time: “I’ve never been involved in anything like it in 25 years of football. I’ve told the lads that I love them all but if they do that to me again they’re all out!”

Managers might not agree, but maybe those Americans were onto something.

By Matt Badcock, The Non-League Paper

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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