For the second time in a week, Bracknell Town took a risk in playing Seb Bowerman, but once again it paid handsome dividends.
The winger, who is nursing a hamstring injury, followed up his goal in the 2-1 win at Chertsey last Tuesday with another, a real beauty, as the Robins crushed Chalfont St Peter 4-0 at Larges Lane on Saturday.
After that game which left his side top of the South Central Division placings, manager Bobby Wilkinson admitted: “It was a gamble. I could have left him out today, but I asked him to fight through it which he did.
He wants to keep on playing, so deserves a lot of credit.
“It could have been a gamble that went against me as I don’t want to lose him for three or four games as he is so important to us. He is in the form of his life, so his hamstring problem is a worry for me.”
Like Tuesday, Bowerman scored after just two minutes and was substituted midway through the first half, while on Saturday he found the net in the 39th minute and was taken off shortly afterwards. He also missed a penalty, which is surprising as he is usually deadly from 12 yards.
Super Seb has now netted seven goals in Town’s last five Isthmian League and FA Cup games.
Bowerman is a master when it comes to crossing the ball, so he must have admired the delivery which came from the left that saw Mikel Platt head home the opening goal in the 10th minute.
It came from a surprising source as it was Dan Bayliss, the centre-back, who even at this early stage of the game was clearly intent on assisting his attack and pressurising the opposition.
Skipper Max Herbert was, as usual, also pushing forward at every opportunity and the attacking midfielder was bearing down on goal when brought down to earn a penalty. Bowerman tried to place it in the left corner, but it lacked power and Andy McCorkell got down to save.
However, it should have been retaken as the keeper was off his line when Bowerman struck the ball.
The Robins continued to push back the Saints with some excellent movement on and off the ball, and several players were involved in the move which led to Joe Grant making it 2-0 in the 32nd minute.
The lead was extended seven minutes later with Bowerman cutting in from the left and curling a brilliant shot around McCorkell and into the far corner.
Seb had done his job, Bracknell had the game won, and he was replaced by Shaquille Ishmael, as he had been at Chertsey.
If Saints, whose defence included ex-Robins Geoff Kibaki and Romario Jonas, were relieved to see the back of Bowerman, there was no rest for them as young Ishmael has electric pace and capable of turning opponents inside out. He still has a lot to learn, but that will come with experience and guidance from Bracknell.
Keeper Mark Scott, who had very few shots to deal with all afternoon, was only inches away from scoring at the other end. His long punt downfield bounced over the advancing McCorkell, but the goalie managed to race back and scoop the ball away just as it was about to cross the line.
Shortly afterwards, however, the keeper was picking the ball out of his net for the fourth time.
Having shown his talent at making crosses early on, Bayliss also demonstrated his skills at dribbling when he started a run just inside the Saints half that saw the big defender glide past a couple of defenders before smashing the ball low into the far corner to make it 4-0 with a little over 15 minutes remaining.
He was following up his late goal at Chertsey, much to the delight of Wilkinson.
The manager revealed: “Last Tuesday, I had a bit of a go at him about not scoring. I said to him ‘Is there any danger of you getting me a goal or two’?
“He went out and got the winner on Tuesday and he’s got another today. He deserves a lot of credit, he’s a brilliant player.
“But they are all brilliant players and I could not be more proud of them.
“It’s been a good week, the chairman is happy, but we have another big week ahead of us with the FA Cup (at Haringey Borough) on Tuesday and the Trophy (home to Sevenoaks) next Saturday.”
A full round up of all Saturday’s scores and scorers is here.