JOE Grant scored twice as Bracknell Town won 3-0 away to South Park last Saturday to maintain their excellent start to the season, writes Dave Wright.

The unbeaten Robins are the only side in the Bostik League’s South Central Division to have taken maximum points from their opening four games, leaving them top of the table by two points from Hayes & Yeading.

They looked comfortable throughout and should have won even more cosily against their Reigate-based opponents who worked hard without being able to match their visitors for teamwork and fitness, Town possessing that bit of extra class in all departments.

Their experience was also a telling factor against a club who were forced to sign a completely new team for this season.

Yet, there is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to putting the ball into the back of the net as once again they were guilty of squandering chances and should have sewn the game up in the first half.

That said, Town won’t need many goals to seal a victory as they are looking rock solid in defence, with keeper Mark Scott having been beaten only once in four matches.

In front of him, fellow new signing Matt Day has added strength to the back-four, making excellent blocks when home winger Ehis Izokun threaded dangerous crosses into the Bracknell area.

While the Sparks relied heavily on their right flank to produce attacks, Town pressurised the home side from all angles with neatly-constructed moves, stemming from passes both out of defence and midfield.

Chances were wasted, however, with Liam Ferdinand shooting wide from an angle after rounding keeper Mike Eacott before seeing Adam Cornell head Seb Bowerman’s cross against the crossbar and Grant nod the rebound onto the same bar.

Grant’s surging cross-field run-and-shot on the turn was blocked by Eacott, but the Robins forward wasn’t to be denied, giving his side a deserved lead on 44 minutes with the keeper, who had come for the cross, lying injured on the ground, leading to four minutes of stoppage time.

At times, Bracknell tried to string too many passes together rather than take the direct route to goal, and this gave the hosts time to get more men behind the ball.

But the Surrey side were under the cosh and it came as no surprise when Grant scored again in the 64th minute from a chance set up by Cornell.

Bracknell’s third goal came after 76 minutes with Bowerman netting from the penalty spot after Kensley Maloney had been brought down by Darryl Harrison.

Shortly afterwards, Robins made a triple substitution, with Ferdinand, Grant and Harrison Bayley being replaced by Gavin James, Kane Fitzgerald and Jamie McClurg. And that still left usual skipper Dave Hancock sitting on the bench – such is the club’s strength in depth.

Bracknell, who met Horsham in the league’s Velocity Trophy at Larges Lane last night (Tuesday), are without a game this coming weekend.

Their next league fixture is home to Northwood at Larges Lane on September 15.