Moors finished 2022 in positive fashion with a clinical display at Croft Park to earn three points with a well deserved Boxing Day victory over Blyth Spartans.
Glen Taylor got the ball rolling with a close-range finish before Rob Ramshaw helped himself to a double, rendering Isacc Walker’s late strike mere consolation for the hosts.
James Curtis returned to the starting eleven after suspension, while Corey McKeown was handed a start against his former club as Moors went in search of a second successive National League North win.
It was the hosts who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the opening stages but they struggled to break down a resolute Moors defence and Ainsley’s men looked a menace on the counter-attack.
That danger told on 15 minutes when McKeown did brilliantly to dribble his way past Michael Richardson and squirm towards goal on the byline before delivering a low ball across to Taylor to force home from close range for 1-0.
It could have got better for Moors just minutes later when John Lufudu charged into the penalty area where was pulled down by Matty Elsdon, only for the referee to deem the infringement outside the box and give a free-kick which was cleared.
The second goal did arrive just after the half-hour though and it was off the back of some clinical counter-attacking as Ramshaw drove through the heart of the Spartans defence before squeezing a finish past keeper Alex Mitchell and in off the post.
Moors continued their dominance at the start of the second half and should have added to their lead on a couple of occasions as the home side struggled to deal with their slick football.
The excellent Ramhsaw found McKeown on the edge of the are and he struck a shot which was fingertipped onto the bar by Mitchell as the youngster came within a whisker of scoring against his former employees.
Curtis then had to show great awareness to block a goalbound shot before then flinging himself high to volley away a cross from the left as Cedric Main loitered with intent behind him.
Moors then did make it 3-0. Mark Anderson found himself in space 20 yards out so let fly with a shot which was again pushed against the bar by Mitchell but this time Ramshaw reacted quickest to bundle in the rebound.
Paul Blackett came off the bench and almost grabbed a goal against one of his former clubs but could only head wide on the stretch at the far post from Reece Kendall’s deep delivery.
Spartans did grab a goal back late on when substitute Walker cut in from the left before superbly curling a shot in off the far post, leaving Gio Bellagambi no chance.
However, it was too little too late for the home side and it was Moors who took three points to round-off the calendar year in style and give themselves a platform to drive up the table in 2023.
Full Time: Blyth Spartans 1 Moors 3
Blyth Spartans: Mitchell, Richardson, Lees, Elsdon, Round, Gillies, Deverdics, McGowan, O’Donnell, Main, Cornish.
Subs not used: Alexander, Dopson, Barlow.
Moors: Bellagambi, Lufudu, Ledger, Tait (Cousin-Dawson 25), Curtis, Kendall, Boyle, Anderson (Whitehouse 73), Ramshaw, McKeown (Blackett 80), Taylor.
Subs not used: Wheatley, Thompson.
Referee: John Mulligan