A DOUBLE strike from Mike Cousins earned Thorpe United Football Club Under-13s their fifth straight win in division one of the York Minor League.

Tom Rowley was also on target for the Selby side in a 3-1 victory over hosts Heworth, which kept up the pressure on league leaders Bishopthorpe White Rose.

Thorpe are rapidly making up for a slow start to the campaign. They lost their opening three matches and drew the fourth and their five consecutive wins have reduced the gap at the top to five points.

Heworth, looking to do the double over Thorpe after winning 2-1 in the reverse fixture, took the lead, but Cousins levelled before the interval.

Thorpe dominated the second half and, benefiting from a strong wind, Cousins had opportunities to seal a hat-trick.

Coach Andy Howcroft, who runs the team with manager Craig Welford, is delighted with the way the team have bounced back from their difficult start to the season.

“We had a poor run of injuries to start with and we lost three early games,” said Howcroft. “But since then we’ve turned it around and it’s really picked up.

“We’ve won five on the bounce now, but I don’t think we will catch Bishopthorpe. They are a strong side.

“We should have beaten them earlier in the season. We were 2-1 up with a few minutes to go, but they equalised.”

Howcroft added: “We’ve got a good squad of players in the U13s.

“We’ve had pretty much the same crew together since they were all six or seven years old.

“Out of the starting line up, there are only about three newcomers.”