First-half fireworks put Brettsiders in charge of title destiny

FOOTBALL - Hadleigh United v Brantham Athletic''Pictured: Tes Bramble
FOOTBALL - Hadleigh United v Brantham Athletic''Pictured: Tes Bramble

Five Hadleigh United goals before the interval provided a great Yuletide fare for an excellent crowd of 245 at a windy Millfield on Friday.

Manager Stuart Crawford was taking a Christmas break, so Alan Dilloway was in charge for their derby-day 5-1 triumph over Brantham Athletic which sent the Brettsiders 13 points clear at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

In the first minute, Tes Bramble’s effort was turned over the bar by Ryan Bedingfield and the corner was fired home by the unmarked Ollie Canfer.

Shortly afterwards, Josh Mayhew made it two with a shot from distance.

Number three came when Mayhew fired through a crowd of players.

Brantham’s James Turner received a red card for a late tackle.

The game became even worse for the visitors as Paul Donnelly hit Hadleigh’s fourth goal from close range before the ball fell kindly for Canfer to fire Hadleigh into a 5-0 half-time lead.

Brantham improved in the second period but were unable to break down Hadleigh’s solid defence until a linesman spotted an infringement in the penalty area 10 minutes before the end.

Sean Gunn netted the spot-kick to give consolation to the 10 men.

Several scouts from higher-ranked clubs were present, with Bramble rumoured to be the main reason.

n Hadleigh host CRC in their next league fixture on Saturday (3pm).