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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Fairford in seventh heaven
NATHAN Gambling and Dan Bailey both hit hat-tricks as Fairford stormed to a 7-2 victory over 10-man Lambourn at Cinder Lane.
Fairford had previously been defeated 2-1 by their Division One West rivals back in September, but this was an emphatic reversal.
The result leaves Paul Braithwaite’s men three points adrift of Hook Norton in third and seven behind Wootton Bassett in second.
Gambling scored his first of the game inside two minutes before following that up to make it 2-0 soon after.
The hosts got a goal back through Adam Mooney before Gambling completed his treble inside the half-hour mark.
The visitors then went down to 10 men with Sam Connors shown a straight red to leave his side with an uphill task.
Shannon Pocock got in on the act to score Fairford’s fourth as he converted a penalty before the break.
Bailey scored his first of the afternoon just after half-time to make it 5-1 before his rasping low drive made it 6-1.
The midfielder then netted his hat-trick to make it 7-2 before Adam Drake pulled a goal back for the visitors.
Boss Braithwaite praised his players for their efforts and said it was a dominant performance all-round.
He said: “We started very quickly and Nathan Gambling had his perfect hat-trick within half an hour.
“We were 3-1 up at that point and we knew we had them.
“They had a lad sent off and that really didn’t help them, it was a fair tackle on him and he reacted the wrong way.
“After that they lost their way and we were good enough to take advantage, we continued to play our football and didn’t look back.
“I don’t think the sending off affected the game a lot, if I’m honest. We were 3-1 up at that point and the game was panning out the way we wanted it to.
“They couldn’t handle that and that was why a few of them started to lose it.”
Braithwaite added that he had been delighted with his team’s prowess in front of goal in their recent outings, something which he felt needed to be addressed.
Fairford’s goal difference is the second-weakest in the top seven but Braithwaite hopes that will improve now.
He said: “Our only downfall this season has been getting the goals but we’ve scored 13 in the last two games - against Lambourn and Shrivenham.
“Hopefully we have turned a corner in that respect, but we will see.”
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