NEIL Kirkpatrick has dismissed the notion that the race for the Toolstation First Division title is now a three-horse affair after seeing his Westbury United side climb to the summit last Saturday.

Westbury came from behind to win 3-1 at Welton Rovers and in the process leapfrogged inactive leaders Keynsham Town to move into pole position in the table.

Keynsham and Roman Glass St George sit two and four points behind respectively, both with a game in hand and with visits to Westbury’s Meadow Lane headquarters in the offing over the coming weeks.

Westbury boss Kirkpatrick said: “There is a gap opening up between the top three and the rest but Cheddar have a lot of games in hand, so have Oldland, and Radstock will certainly feel they have a chance of closing it.

“Going top helps to put pressure on the others to win their games in hand but, looking at the fixture list, you can’t take any team lightly and it’s all about staying consistent.”

Westbury fell behind to an early long-range effort from Joe Battrick at Welton but swiftly drew level through Jake Hiscocks. Ricky Hulbert fired the visitors ahead before the interval and a second-half strike from Jamie Jordan made sure of a sixth successive league victory for the new leaders.

“It was a solid display,” said Kirkpatrick. “We weren’t outstanding but scored at good times and bounced straight back after going 1-0 down.

“It was a dangerous game for us but the players were disciplined and we did what we had to do. Welton are very good going forward but we felt we could exploit them at the back and that proved to be the case.”

Westbury face two more away games this week but will be without the unavailable Hulbert for tomorrow’s trip to Almondsbury. The former Frome Town man will return for Tuesday night’s date at Radstock, who currently occupy fourth spot in the table.

Corsham Town were unable to kick-off the calendar year with a win as they were handed a 3-0 defeat by Chard Town at Southbank on Saturday. Kieran Bailey set the tone with a second-minute opener and Liam Cleal and Andy Holmes added to the visitors’ advantage before the crossbar twice denied Corsham a consolation goal.

Jamie Harrison’s team host Bristol Telephones tomorrow and face a Wiltshire derby at Malmesbury Vics’ Flying Monk Ground on Tuesday night.

Warminster, who have not played since Boxing Day following the postponement of last weekend’s match at Cheddar, are due to return to action with a home game against Chippenham Park tomorrow.