Dina Washington sang an old standard song ‘what a difference a day makes’ – in this case it was seven days for West Bridgford.
After an abysmal display last week losing at home to Holbrook Sports, Bridgford traveled for the first time to fourth placed Blaby & Whetstone Athletic.
For the first time in weeks Bridgford were at full strength – welcoming back Jamie Spiers, Akintomide Jayieola, Aaron Large, Pat Newsome and Kevin Spriggs to their line up but were without former Nottingham Forest striker Tim Hopkinson due to work commitments.
The first 15 minutes saw the visitors start sluggishly although the in-form Carl Westcarr saw two early chances go begging. Full back Ross McCaughey was booked for a late tackle in the 10th minute as Blaby began to take the initiative and a mistake by full back Dave Erentz allowed Blaby leading scorer Aaron Preston to slam home from 8 yards. 0-1 (Blaby)
After the early set back Bridgford began to establish themselves and equalised through Aaron Large, in the 20th minute Dave Erentz played a superb pass to Jayieola who forced a Bridgford corner – from the resulting Tom Coole corner Carl Westcarr’s spectacular bicycle kick rattled against the bar only for Large to react first and head home the rebound. 1-1 (Bridgford)
Two minutes later a perfect cross from winger Jayieola saw Aaron Large rise at the far post to thump home another header to give Bridgford the lead and his second goal of the game. 1-2 (Bridgford)
HT 1-2 (Bridgford)
The second half belonged to West Bridgford who took the game by the ‘scruff of the neck’. In the 47th minute Carl Westcarr missed when it was easier to score but redeemed himself when he showed a sharp turn of pace to latch onto a Jamie Spiers through ball only to be upended in the box for a penalty, Westcarr stepped up to take the spot kick and coolly slotted home.1-3 (Bridgford)
Abou Sylla came on for Tom Coole and the returning Ryan Plummer, son of Ex Nottingham Forest striker Calvin, was introduced for the tiring Westcarr.
In the 65th minute – following an excellent tackle from Kevin Spriggs in the Blaby half, man of the match Aaron Large completed his hat-trick with a sumptuous 30 yard strike making it 4-1 to the reds, it was the 26 year old’s 13th goal of an already prolific season for the midfielder – six minutes later substitute Ryan Plummer ran 50 yards from his own half to slot in Bridgford’s 5th. 1-5 (Bridgford)
Jurgen Charlesworth then replaced Jayeiola and with almost his first touch converted Abou Sylla’s pinpoint cross for number six – Bridgford were now rampant 1-6 (Bridgford)
West Bridgford now inspired by the outstanding midfield pairing of Kevin Spriggs and Jamie Spiers saw the latter bundle home from a delightful Aaron Large cross. 1-7 (Bridgford)
To be fair to Blaby they never gave up and In the dying moments scored a consolation goal through Tom Hill. 2-7 (Bridgford)
The game ended with a 7-2 scoreline with the away side’s second half performance being the highlight of a fantastic season so far, subsequently moving them to 3rd place.
Man Of The Match: Aaron Large
Joint Manager Chris Marks was ecstatic at the final whistle, ‘It was probably our most accomplished performance of the season, Robbo and I have both been here in our playing days and knew how tough a game it would be – to come from one nil down and then slowly dismantle a top four side is testament to the quality and team spirit of the players’.