Hunt hattrick sees Cinderford Town ease to victory over Bristol Manor Farm

Josh Hunt scored a hattrick as Cinderford Town came from behind to romp to a 5-1 victory over Bristol Manor Farm on Tuesday night. 

An early wonder strike by Manor Farm left back Mason Winter left the hosts stunned, before Aaron Bashford bundled the ball home after Craig Norman headed down Wood’s deep cross.

Hunt then followed up with a hat trick featuring two top class strikes either side of an easy header at the back post.

The first came when Hunt found space on the edge of the box before curling the ball into the top corner.

After a header right on half time, Hunt completed the treble when he took advantage of a slip at the back to charge in on goal, before thundering the ball into the roof of the net.

Lorcan Sheehan almost got in on the act of the wonder goals himself but he could only fire narrowly over the top with a fierce strike from range.

Substitute James Harding completed the rout from the penalty spot after Joe Turley was fouled in the box.

The win moves Cinderford Town up to 7th in the Southern League Division One South table ahead of the visit of Basingstoke Town on Saturday afternoon.

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Following the game Cinderford manager Paul Michael praised his side for their response to giving away the early goal and for their response to the 5-3 defeat at Cirencester Town 10 days ago.

“It was really good to see the boys react to going behind. To be fair I felt we started the game well then out of nowhere we were a goal behind, but the reaction was good and in the end it was comfortable. 

It was a strange game really, strange as in we have played a lot better in games and not got anything where as today we get a 5-1 win. We were just clinical. 

We scored three at Ciren and usually when you score three away from home you should expect to win the game, the difference is we had Rhoder [Nick Rhodes] and Angel [Liam Angel] come back in at the back and obviously Lorcs [Lorcan Sheehan] has come back in as well and to be fair we are a different team when we are full strength. 

Manor Farm were really complimentary after the game but I’ve said to them that to be fair they have faced a different Cinderford Town side than some of the clubs faced in December,” Michael said.

As mentioned the win sees Cinderford move up to 7th in the Southern League Division One South and Michael has called on his side to stick together during the second half of the season to claim a play-off spot for the second season in a row.

“We are three points off the play-offs, but you know that the previous bad period means that we are still playing catch up, so it puts a lot of pressure on every game.

We just have to keep taking it one game at a game and we are at home again on Saturday and we’ve got 18 games left of the season so we are into the second half of the season and we have 12 more games left against sides in the bottom 10, so if we play like we did tonight then we should be in and around the play-offs again. And then it doesn’t matter if you finish 2nd or 5th, it’s all fun and games then,” Michael added.

Going into Saturday’s game with Basingstoke Town Michael now faces a selection dilemma with the likes of Marley Thomas, Ben Watkins and James Harding pushing for a start after being on the bench on Tuesday night and with Kieran Alder returning to action following a three game ban and Michael admits the pressure is on to keep everyone happy.

“Selection is a big dilemma, there are some of the boys who are disappointed, some of them borderline angry because they want to be playing. They haven’t done a lot wrong but you look at the last two games and we have won 4-0 and 5-1, so it’s difficult because I want to keep those boys happy cause I believe in those players massively and it could just have been a different line-up out there but the same result,” said the Cinderford Town boss.

Cinderford Town host Basingstoke Town at the Causeway on Saturday 25th January; kick off 15:00