Barnston make it 10 wins in 12

A HIGH tempo derby fell in favour of third-placed Barnston after striker Mark Pledger weighed in with a stunning hat trick.

Gosfield 2 Barnston AFC 4

A HIGH tempo derby fell in favour of third-placed Barnston after striker Mark Pledger weighed in with a stunning hat trick.

Even with five first team regulars out of action due to work commitments the away side still managed to put four past third-from-bottom Gosfield with Jay Haberland also on the scoresheet.

Barnston are on a run of 10 wins in 12 league games and are in a confident mood and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead with just six minutes gone.

Left back Daniel O’Brien received the ball just inside his own half, and he sent a curling lofted pass down the left wing for Tim Shaw to chase. The winger cut inside and played the ball square to target man Pledger who turned and hammered home.

The game carried on at pace, with both teams now attacking, and on 13 minutes it was 2-0.

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Campbell Wilson latched onto a through-ball, crossed low and hard to Haberland at the far post who drilled the ball into the top right corner.

Pledger then made it three to the visitors, blasting home from a tight angle after rounding the keeper.

Barnston appeared to think that the game was over and lost their shape and their composure, and their high work rate also dropped.

This was soon punished as the home side pulled one back before half time. But after a some stern half time words from manager Leighton Williams they came out and all but finished the job with a fourth in the second half.

A Haberland shot hit team mate Pledger just inside the box, but he reacted brilliantly to control the shot, turn, and unleash his own effort inside the near post to make it 4-1 and complete a deserved hat trick.

The visitors closed out the game with some neat controlled football and but after dominating will be disappointed to concede a second late on.

That did not dampen Williams’ spirits though, after the game the Barnston boss said: “Liam Crane was awarded man of the match, due to the fact that this was without doubt his best performance in a Barnston shirt, making a number of important tackles, passing and crossing well, and joining in numerous attacks.

“But the man of the match award in all honesty could have gone to four or five players.

“This win showed just how good a squad we are assembling as with five normal first team players either missing, or unable to make kick off, we still named a strong side, and you could not have said that any player playing on Saturday was not of first team standard.”

Next: This coming Saturday Barnston start a very challenging month of fixtures as they play away to fifth place Coggeshall Town. Kick off 2.30pm

AT reserve level, Barnston also had success off the pitch with joint reserve team managers Neil Rivett and Pete Monk being awarded with the Border League Reserve First Division manager of the month gong.

They were presented with their trophy on Saturday for their efforts in getting four wins out of four during the month of November.