BRADFORD Town boss Paul Shanley was delighted his side avoided falling victim to the ‘new manager effect’ as they hammered local rivals Warminster 7-0 on Wednesday night.
Experienced duo Derek Graham and Andy Crabtree were back in the Weymouth Street dugout as Warmin-ster’s joint-managers but Bradford continued their relentless march at the top of the table.
Steve Hulbert put the visitors ahead with his fourth goal in as many games before the home side’s Adam Collington was sent off for kicking off the ball.
Dan King netted a brace to take his tally for the season to 15 goals, while Sam Jordan also got himself on the scoresheet before half-time.
Goal machine Jordan fired home two more to round off his tenth hat-trick of the campaign before Tom Welch grabbed the seventh.
“I stressed to the lads before the game that Warmin-ster have got an experienced management team in and they’re going to want to prove a point,” said Shanley.
“But we were superb and it was business as usual.
“We thought that the pitch might be a bit of a leveller, but we still played well in difficult conditions and even though they had a guy sent off, I don’t think that the result was ever in doubt.”
Victory stretched unbeaten Bradford’s lead at the top to 15 points, but Shanley is certain his players are keeping their feet on the ground.
“To have scored 78 goals in the league already is fantastic and it’s just been déjà vu from the boys every week because the performances have been excellent every time,” he said.
“I think there might be a few people who are getting excited, like the supporters, who have been playing their part, but the players aren’t getting too carried away.
“I try to stay level-headed and I think that comes across to the boys. I think they all realise that it could all change very quickly.
“Hopefully we can keep our standards up.
“It’s a shame that we haven’t got a game this weekend, but we did pick up a few knocks on Wednesday and that gives us some time to get people back fit for Bristol Manor Farm (in the Les Phillips Cup) on Tuesday.”
Warminster travel to Wells City tomorrow.
Westbury United boss Matt Bown is demanding a reaction from his players after they slipped to a disappointing 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Ashton & Backwell United last weekend.
Westbury saw a host of goal-scoring opportunities fall their way in the second period at Meadow Lane but failed the find the net before the visitors’ Lee Delaney was on target.
Bown’s men continued to pile on the pressure but their efforts were in vain as Ashton’s Adam Crooks and Briggs pounced late on to punish the home side’s profligacy.
“I read out the riot act a bit at the end of the game because we could have been out there all day and never scored,” said the Westbury manager.
“We were camped in their half in the second half, but we just missed chances.
“It was frustrating because we’d played so well against Calne last week and it was a game I was expecting us to get a result from.
“It does seem to be one step forward and two steps back at the moment for us, but we’ll get there.
“We do lack a goalscorer but it’s up to the strikers we’ve got to start getting a few goals and going on a bit of a run.I’ve asked for a reaction from the boys this weekend and that’s what I’m expecting.”
Bown is expecting to welcome back Mark Young for tomorrow’s clash with struggling Keynsham Town, but Dan Dominy, Matt Friend-ship, Lee Salter and Simon Millard are all set to be missing.
Trevor Rawlings concedes he is still up against it in terms of player numbers at Corsham Town despite easing the problem a little with two signings.
Town have brought in right-back Jason Henley from Yate Town Reserves, while the signing of frontman Aaron Tinson from Chippenham Park should be completed this week.
A goal in each half was enough to book the visitors’ place in the last eight of the Wiltshire Senior Cup at Mere Town, Darrin Moss and Matty Jenkins on the scoresheet.
Rawlings said: “We took a lot of young lads down because of the amount of injuries and they came through for us.
“We had no strikers at all, it was all goalkeepers and midfielders, but we never looked in danger and probably could have had a couple more.
“It’s a bit of a patched-up squad, but hopefully we’ve got a few coming back into it now.
“We’ve signed Jason and hopefully the Tinson move should be done and he’ll add a bit of competition for us up front.’’
Town go to Chard Town in the league tomorrow at 3pm.
Darren Perrin admired the professionalism of his Melksham Town side as they booked their place in the last eight of the county cup at the Wiltshire League Premier Division leaders.
Dan Kovacs struck twice, while Will Stead also netted, and Ryan Bennett scored his first goal since joining the club as the holders progressed largely untroubled.
Perrin said: “It was a very professional and comfortable display.
“It was a difficult playing surface but I thought we acquitted ourselves very well.
“I don’t know much about the division Shrewton are in but I’d say they will be up there challenging in it at the end of the season.
“I was delighted with how we played and the way we approached the game.’’
Top scorer Gary Higdon should be fit to return to the squad for the trip to Bishop Sutton in the Toolstation League Premier Division on Saturday
Perrin is also hoping to complete the signing of left-sided player Luke Smith, who is returning from America on Friday and has let Nathan Farquarson go to Warminster Town.
Mike Alford was pleased with his Trowbridge Town side’s second-half performance against Bradford Town last weekend, even if they were never in danger of pulling off a cup upset.
Town were well beaten 5-0 by the rampant Toolstation League First Division leaders, with Tom Evans, Leon Greenland, Steve Hulbert, Sam Jordan and an own goal from Steve Toogood doing the damage, but Alford was happy to look on the bright side of his team’s Wiltshire Senior Cup exit.
“I watched them (Bradford) beat Portishead 11-1 last week and I said to the lads that there are plenty of Western League sides that would settle for a 5-0 defeat against that lot,” said the Trowbridge boss.
“We were a bit like rabbits in headlights in the first 20 minutes and Bradford took us apart but I thought that we did well in the second half – it could have easily been worse.”
Melksham Town, Corsham Town and Bradford have been kept apart in the quarter-final draw and have all been handed home ties.
Melksham will host Hellenic League Highworth Town on January 18 while Bradford Town will take on the winners of New College Swindon and Pewsey Vale, who meet on November 27.
Meanwhile, Corsham Town will host Purton.
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