Hesketh Bank travelled to a soggy Ambleside knowing they needed a win to keep up their title winning hopes.
After five minutes defender Adam Thompson saw his goal bound header cleared off the line following a corner.
Stead then saw his close range effort brilliantly saved by the young Ambleside keeper pushing the ball to safety via an upright.
On 16 minutes the first goal arrived as Dalton got free on the right and unselfishly gave Stead the relatively simple task of passing the ball into the net. The home side reacted well and keeper Paul Sergeant had to be at his best on a couple of occasions to deny them an equaliser within minutes of the restart.
However just after the half hour mark Stead added his second from close range and ten minutes later completed his first half hat-trick by heading home a Richard Burns cross from the right.
The only downside to the half was an injury to skipper Dan Birkby which forced him to leave the field. Within five minutes of the restart Stead scored his fourth of the season from close range.
Jordan Smethurst then skimmed the bar with a shot from outside the box still waiting for his first goal of the season. He didn’t have to wait long because three minutes later he went past two defenders before smashing the ball into the corner of the net on the hour.
Assistant manager Jamie Johnson and Lewis Saunders were both given run-outs for the last half hour. Stead then pulled up injured and left the field as Hesketh Bank completed the last 20 minutes with ten men and also completed the scoring with acting skipper Burns adding the sixth goal four minutes from time. With keeper Sergeant a virtual spectator in the second half he was able to keep his 16th clean sheet of the season.
So it’s to the last game of a long season with a visit to Turton near Bolton where victory would see Hesketh Bank going up as champions and double winners.
The reserves played their last home game of the season last Thursday against Slyne-with-Hest drawing 2-2 thanks to a brace from the league’s leading scorer John Ascroft who now has 23 to his name. They travel to Slyne-with-Hest on Saturday to complete their season and will finish a creditable fourth in the table.