Defeating Bishop Sutton by the same score as Shirehampton just four days earlier, Bristol Manor Farm made it consecutive 5-0 pre-season victories on Tuesday night, writes William Ledbury.
With notable absentees, Lee Lashenko’s Farm still made light work for themselves against Shire, and were looking for the same when they travelled to Lakeview – home of Lashenko’s former club, Bishop Sutton.
With the new Western League season starting at the weekend, Bishop Sutton’s tails were raised at the prospect of finishing their pre-season campaign with a good performance against Farm; and the hosts started the brightest.
With hosts playing without names on the shirt, the Sutton number nine took a touch before shooting narrowly wide of Shay Allen’s net – a necessary warning for Farm who knew that they had to be ‘at it’ from the start if they were to continue their on-field momentum.
Further chances would fall the home side’s way, with a narrow strike beating Allen – but also beating the goal.
Midday through the half Farm started to find their rhythm, much of what was seen from Lashenko’s side during the most of last season. Fullbacks Aron Robbins and Sam Boulton combined well with Jake Gosling and Marcus Day – and it was the latter who emphatically finished to open the match’s scoring. Day’s neat step-over fooled the home defence, and his powerful strike gave the home keeper little chance as it nestled into the top left corner.
On 28 minutes, Farm did have the ball in the net once again. Gosling linked up well with striker Owen Howe who calmly slotted home, but the linesman raised his flag to deny the forward.
Ten minutes later, Farm quickly turned one into three as Boulton and Day punished the home side in 60 brutal seconds. Gosling gracefully controlled the ball from a long pass, and slipped Boulton through to score first time. Just as the hosts restarted, the ball quickly fell back into Farm’s possession. A ranged switch pass found the feet of Day who cut onto his right foot and crept the ball into the bottom right corner.
On 41 minutes, Farm heaped more misery on their hosts when Jake Gosling danced on the edge of the Sutton area and hammered the ball low and centrally past the keeper.
Shortly after the interval, striker Owen Howe landed awkwardly, following a goal attempt, forcing Lashenko into an early change.
The exciting Evander Grubb stepped onto the field, and with Dad Marvin watching from the sidelines, put on a show for the traveling Farm contingent. The midfielder’s first opportunity saw him glide past two defenders and shoot over, and his second ended with the ball in the net – only for the linesman to deny Farm. Grubb was played through and rounded the keeper with relative ease, but was deemed offside.
George Fowler then created another opportunity for Manor Farm, with a long-range strike narrowly missing the target.
Grubb was then rewarded with a goal when he made it five with just over 10 minutes remaining. Advancing past the full-back, Grubb struck the ball with conviction into the corner to round off another strong pre-season performance.
Marcus Day was handed the opportunity to score a hat-trick, but the winger failed to hit the target as his penalty skewed wide of the right-hand post.
Next up, Farm host Roman Glass at The Creek on Thursday 28 July for their second match this week. For as much as £5, we hope to see as many of the Farmy Army in attendance.
STAR MAN, Marcus Day.