Central Ajax secured their third Midland League Division Three win of the season, beating Castle Vale 6-4 in an entertaining game that also featured two penalties and a red card.
In a wind-affected encounter, Ajax took an early lead when Matt Layton’s 20-yard shot slipped between the goalkeeper’s legs. Brandon Bryan then turned the ball into his own net after good work from Ajax’s left-wing back Scott Hughes to double the lead.
Alex Andrews, returning after a four-week injury lay-off, found himself through on goal but his finish hit the foot of a post and rebounded to safety.
Ajax soon found themselves all square after giving away two penalties for fouls committed by debutant Tom Dyke and skipper Aaron Satchwell. Vale striker Dean Fisher despatched both spot-kicks past Craig Lawrence.
The hosts regained the lead after the interval when Matt Layton chipped the goalkeeper after spotting him off his line.
Castle Vale pulled level when Fisher found space in the penalty area and finished well with his left foot.
A speculative shot from the just outside the centre circle from Andrews embarrassed the visitors’ keeper to make it 4-3 and Ajax gave themselves a two-goal cushion when Nick Dyde smashed a 25-yard strike into the right-hand corner.
Fisher scored his fourth of the game courtesy of another smart turn and finish but it was Ajax who rounded off the scoring when Layton picked up his first hat-trick for the club, heading home from a Lewis Fathers free-kick.
In the final minutes, Vale had a man sent off for spitting at Ajax midfielder Matt Trinder.