LIAM Ferdinand bagged a hat-trick as Bracknell Town romped to an impressive 5-1 win at Bostik League South Central Division play-off rivals Waltham Abbey on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

He has now scored 21 goals, the joint second highest in all four divisions of the league, although Hayes & Yeading's Lee Barney joins him on the same mark.

It is Hayes who are likely to stop the Robins winning the title, as they have opened up a huge 15-point lead at the top of the table over second-placed Marlow, who in turn are a point better off than Bracknell in third.

Like Marlow, Town have a game in hand following the postponement of last week's fixture at Egham due to a waterlogged pitch.

Waltham Abbey, in seventh spot, would have moved above Bracknell had they won, but that never looked like occurring with the visitors in such good form.

Apart from the injured Mark Scott and Seb Bowerman, manager Geoff Warner had a full squad to chose from and had meant team selection was far from easy, and it led to the likes of Joe Grant, Joe Gater and Joel Jacobs all starting on the substitutes bench.

It took the Robins just eight minutes to open the scoring. Jamie McClurg's excellent through ball found Ashleigh Artwell, whose cross was turned home by Ferdinand from close range.

Ten minutes later, McClurg and Artwell again combined, although this time it was the former who supplied the pass for Adam Cornell to slot into the net.

A third goal nearly followed shortly afterwards, with Carl Davies heading Kensley Maloney's corner over the bar and then firing just too high from the edge of the area after centre-back partner Matt Day had headed the ball down to him.

The Hertfordshire side pulled a goal back through Billy Holland on 55 minutes, only to see their visitors make it 3-1 six minutes later with a superb effort from Maloney, who twisted his way past two defenders before hammering the ball into the net.

Town extended their advantage in the 72nd minute when McClurg won a battle for possession and rolled the ball across the six-yard box for Ferdinand to finish off.

And Ferdinand, who had scored the only goal when Town defeated the Hertfordshire side at Larges Lane last August, completed his hat-trick in the 86th minute to put the seal on an excellent team performance.

Last night (Tuesday) the Robins went to Premier Division side AFC Hornchurch looking to book their place in the final of the Velocity Trophy against Enfield or Bishops Stortford.

Then this Saturday they are home to Molesey, who are second from bottom of the table, although they did manage to win 3-2 at ninth-placed Ashford last week.

Town will be seeking another double, having won 2-1 at Walton Road early in the season with Ferdinand netting both goals.