ADAM Cornell rediscovered his scoring form to net four first-half goals as Bracknell Town hammered Oxford City Nomads 5-0 at Larges Lane on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

Seb Bowerman added the other just before half time to give the new management team of Jeff Lamb, Paul McGrotty and Derek Sweetman a tremendous start.

It was also a welcome return to form for the Robins following defeats at Thatcham and Ascot.

By his own admission, Cornell had endured a short barren spell where “I could not even hit a barn door”, but the striker who netted 45 goals last season was back to his sharpest on Saturday.

He benefited from an excellent service provided by wide-men Bowerman and Joe Grant, who were both virtually unstoppable in the opening half.

Without wishing to detract from his performance, Cornell’s job was made a little easier by some poor defending, as he was unchallenged when scoring all of his goals, but he still deserves credit for putting himself in the right space in the goal area.

It took him three and a half minutes to get off the mark. Bowerman won a battle for possession wide out on the left and cut inside before an inch-perfect pass to the far post was finished off by Cornell.

Shortly afterwards a moment’s hesitation on the ball cost him another goal, but he didn’t have to wait long for his second.

It came on 15 minutes when a sweeping move involving George Short, Jamie McClurg and Bowerman was finished off by a header from just outside the far post.

In front of a healthy crowd of more than 260, Cornell completed his hat-trick in the 34th minute with a nonchalant finish to a chance set up by Short and Joe Grant.

Then Grant wasted an opportunity, preferring to shoot when Cornell was unmarked in front of goal, but he did provide the cross for the fourth goal on 40 minutes.

Kensley Maloney, making a welcome return from injury, hit the post and side-netting before Bowerman made it 5-0 on the stroke of half time with skipper Carl Davies involved in the build-up.

But, having dominated the first 45 minutes, Town certainly didn’t have things all their own way in the second half.

Although Grant did strike the top of the crossbar, Robins found themselves defending more in the second half, but managed to keep a clean sheet thanks to poor finishing, the post and some great blocks by Davies and Joe Gater.

Bracknell played the last 27 minutes with 10 men when Rob Gerrard was sent off. The left-back reacted to a challenge by putting his head in the face of substitute Liam Tallboys, who dramatically dropped to the ground as though he had been hit hard.

“The (Oxford) lad left some stud marks down his leg, but Rob said he didn’t touch him,” commented Lamb.

Town’s new joint manager was “really chuffed with the opening 45 minutes”, adding: “The lads were positive, the tempo was good and there were lots of good goals from crosses.

“The second half went flat and the sending off virtually killed the game off.”

One early concern for Lamb and McGrotty at Larges Lane is the club’s disciplinary record.

Centre-back Joe Gater is now serving a four-match suspension following his second dismissal of the season in the 2-0 defeat at Ascot last week, while left-back Rob Gerrard was sent off last Saturday.

“Unfortunately, Bracknell have had a few of them (red cards) this season, which is not great, so we need to improve the discipline,” commented Lamb.

Town travel to Wantage on Saturday (3pm) and are home to Southern League East side Aylesbury in the first round of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup next Tuesday (7.45pm).