Gainsborough Trinity's new faces make immediate impact

Nicky Walker celebrates his hat-trick goal on his second debut for Gainsborough Trinity to record his first ever senior treble. PHOTO: John Rudkin
Nicky Walker celebrates his hat-trick goal on his second debut for Gainsborough Trinity to record his first ever senior treble. PHOTO: John Rudkin

Loan striker Nicky Walker made a remarkable impact at in-form Gainsborough Trinity – hitting his first ever hat-trick just 24 hours after joining the club. 

Walker was one of three loan signings to make the move to the Northolme at the end of last week, alongside fellow Boston player keeper George Willis – starting his second loan spell this season at Trinity – and young striker Leon Howarth. 

And all three featured in a 3-1 win at Atherton Collieries as Trinity extended their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Willis made an early impact with a fine 12th minute save to deny Tom Bentham with the match goalless.

That proved crucial as Walker then took over, scoring the first of his debut treble just five minutes later when he pounced on a loose ball.

The striker doubled his tally six minutes before half-time when he was left unmarked in the area and completed his treble in injury-time – five minutes after Gareth Peet had pulled a goal back for the home side.

Walker went one-on-one with the keeper after Trinity broke the offside trap to secure victory and his treble in style.

Woodhouse, who has challenged his side to continue the climb away from the relegation dogfight against second-placed Basford United at the Northolme this weekend, said: “Nicky Walker… to score a hat-trick on your debut! He looked a real threat considering he has not played much football.

“His fitness was oustanding and he looked sharp. He is going to be a great player for us. I have liked Nicky for years… to have him in the football club until the end of the season is fantastic.”  

Talking about the win, the manager added: I’m really delighted. It was a good performance and a good result… but it was nothing that I don’t expect from this group now. I expected us to come here and win – and we have delivered.

“I expect us to put a run together now with the players we have got and our momentum.

“All credit has got to go to the players. Sometimes the manager’s role is over-egged. Players win football matches and we were outstanding. The players were outstanding, they really dug in and put in a shift – I am proud of them.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”

Woodhouse said he was delighted with the way his side coped with conceding the late goal to set up what could have been a nervous final five minutes plus injury-time.

”Deep down I was thinking this is brilliant (to concede). Now let’s see what we are all about and what character we have got.

“And we dug in and hit them on the counter-attack and got that third goal, so I am really happy. This is just the start for this group.”​​​​​​​

Woodhouse was full of praise for central defensive pairing Nathan Stainfield and Will Thornton as well as full back Jamie Green. 

“We were outstanding at the back,” the manager said. “When we are (winning) 2-1 and in sticky situations I know we can see it through because we have done it time and again now.  

“Jamie is an unseen hero at the back. Since I have been here he has not put a foot wrong. He has been absolutely outstanding. As a whole unit the back four is looking really good.”