AFTER a week off, Riverway FC made the short trip to Rocester to face JCB Vibromax in the round three of the Staffordshire Challenge Cup on Saturday and emerged impressive 6-0 victors.
With several key players still unavailable Riverway were fortunate enough to be able to recall Earl Grant and hand a full debut to Dave O'Grady.
The game was played on a heavy pitch and it was soon evident that both sides would find it hard going in the conditions.
Riverway started pressing early on and Jay Arnold was unfortunate not to open the scoring after four minutes when his header was saved by the home goalkeeper after excellent work from Martyn Wheeler.
The visitors piled on the pressure and on 18 minutes O'Grady struck Matt Rhodes’ corner on the half volley into the roof of the net.
Four minutes later Riverway's top goalscorer Thomas Duffy got in on the action when, after a goal mouth scramble, he managed to pivot and fire home.
The hosts responded by pushing up slightly more but found Chris Hall, Ben Roberts and Simon Dawson resolute in front of Steve McCabe's goal.
On 42 minutes Riverway netted a third goal when a Rhodes corner was met by Roberts who headed home from close range.
After the break Riverway were made to wait to get their fourth after spurning several chances. On 55 minutes Riverway regained their scoring touch when birthday boy Rhodes fired home.
Riverway saw this as an opportunity to makes changes as Duffy and the excellent Charlie Marshall gave way for Alex Peatfield and Tom Lane. It was the latter though whose industry really started to open up the hosts.
The fifth goal came after 69 minutes when Grant, Arnold and Rhodes linked up in a slick move which saw Rhodes find the net again.
It was Rhodes’ afternoon when Lane's silky run led to him being upended in the penalty area.
Rhodes stepped up to take the resultant spot kick and completed his treble and secured a quarter final spot for the Stafford side.
Riverway’s next match is against Ettingshall, at Rowley Park, on December 22 (2pm).