BRACKNELL Town made it eight wins out of 10 Bostik League games by beating Hertford 2-0 at Larges Lane on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

Ashleigh Artwell scored his first goal for the club shortly before half-time with substitute Gavin James blasting home the second in time added on at the end of the game.

Compared to the FA Trophy thriller against Bognor Regis a week earlier, this was a pretty tame affair for the crowd of 241, by far the day’s highest in the South Central Division.

Robins, perhaps still feeling the effects of their penalty shoot-out defeat in the replay at Bognor on Tuesday, were not at their best, but then they did not have to be as mid-table Hertford were not the strongest of opponents and it was quite evident why they have not won an away game this season.

The visitors defended okay, getting as many players behind the ball as they could, but they lacked bite up front and rarely looked like getting the better of a solid Bracknell back four of Joe Gater, Carl Davies, Matt Day and Jonny Hathaway on a day when both regular full-backs Dave Hancock and Ryan Parsons were out injured.

The first half was fairly nondescript with neither side able to stamp their authority on the game.

Joe Grant looked Town’s most threatening forward, but his finishing failed to match his approach work as he missed a couple of good chances.

He came within inches of winning a penalty in the 26th minute when brought down inches outside the area, but the Hertford wall kept out Day’s free-kick. Soon afterwards, Grant saw his rising effort from 20 yards scrape the crossbar.

With Seb Bowerman left on the bench due to a slight injury, Artwell was in the starting line-up and it was he who broke the deadlock four minutes before half-time.

Taking advantage of a slip in the visitors’ defence, Liam Ferdinand could have had a shot at goal himself, but he unselfishly squared the ball for the unmarked Artwell to turn over the line from close range for his first goal for the club.

Robins were perhaps a shade fortunate to be ahead at half-time, but it was still a slender lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Ferdinand nearly doubled the advantage in the 57th minute when his shot appeared to be destined for the bottom right-hand corner, but keeper Lamar Johnson got down well to push the ball away, the best save of the whole game.

Grant had a good chance to beat Johnson when he got on the end of an Artwell cross, but his header soared inches over the bar.

Grant was then involved in a hefty challenge with Hertford’s Charlie Edwards and, after treatment, he followed Davies and Hathaway into the referee’s notebook, with Gater also being shown the yellow card not long afterwards.

Bowerman, having replaced Artwell, set up another chance for Grant, but again his header lacked accuracy.

It was not until the second minute of time added on when Robins netted their second goal, with Jamie McClurg and Harrison Bayley setting up substitute James, who from near the edge of the area hammered an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner.

Day was named Bracknell’s man-of-the-match.

The win leaves Town second in the table on goal difference behind new leaders Hayes & Yeading, with only three points separating the top five teams.