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Merrifield hat-trick fires Bishops Stortford to summit

calendario 01.02.2023
by: NonProFootball
  • Essex
  • Isthmian
  • Premier
  • South East
Merrifield hat-trick fires Bishops Stortford to summit

Top scorer Frankie Merrifield bagged a hat trick as Bishop's Stortford won 3-0 at Haringey Borough on Tuesday evening to go top of the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division.

It was Blues' third successive win – all away from home in a run that has seen them score 11 goals – after Saturday's 5-0 thumping of Kingstonian and mid-January's 3-2 victory at promotion rivals Cray Wanderers.

Their total of 50 points from 25 games puts them two points clear of previous leaders Enfield Town (48pts from 25) and Aveley (48/28), three ahead of Cray (47/28) in fourth and four in front of fifth-placed Hornchurch (46/24)

Manager Steve Smith made three changes for the game in north London from the weekend win at K's, with Merrifield, Brandon Adams and Jack Thomas coming in for Chris Harris, Donell Thomas and Anthony Church, who all dropped to the bench.

Haringey were in form having won three of their last four matches, but Merrifield gave Stortford the lead four minutes before half time when he turned in the box and slammed the ball home through a crowd of bodies into the roof of the net.

Two goals in the space of three minutes midway through the second half secured all three points for Blues.

First, on 68 minutes, a superb curling corner from the right with his left foot by second-half substitute Jonny Giles might have been going straight in but Merrifield got his head to it on the line to make sure.

Then another great corner caused mayhem in the six-yard box. Boro somehow scrambled clear, but their keeper fumbled the follow-up cross by substitute Church and the ball was bundled home by Merrifield for the hat trick, his 16th goal this season.

Blues could have gone close to matching their 6-0 win at Coles Lane last season as Darren Foxley hit the bar with a curling and dipping right-footed strike and substitute Donell Thomas hit the near post after a great flick round the corner from Merrifield found his strike partner in space.

Smith's side are back to their best after a blip in the first week of the year when they lost 2-0 at struggling Brightlingsea and were beaten 3-0 at home by Lewes, their first defeat on their own patch in regular league fixtures after being unbeaten in the previous 31 matches stretching back more than 16 months to the start of the 2021-22 season.

They will be looking to cement, if not extend, their lead at the summit over the next 10 days. They host second-from-bottom Corinthian-Casuals at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium on Saturday (Feb 4) before two more away games, both at sides in the bottom half of the table: Bognor Regis Town in 15th next Tuesday (Feb 7) and Margate in 16th on Saturday February 11.

Blues: Giddens, Porter, Henshaw (c), Johnson, Merrifield, Olufemi, J Thomas (Church 64), Foxley, Charles (Giles 53), Adams (D Thomas 58), Peters. Not used:Atilola, Harris.

The article was written by Bishops Stortford Independent

To read it click here

Source: Bishops Stortford Independent

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