Wilkinson nets five as Cranbrook put youthful Colyton to the sword
PUBLISHED: 20:35 09 February 2020 | UPDATED: 20:35 09 February 2020
Cranbrook are up to second in the Macron League Division Four table after a 6-2 home win over Colyton Reserves.
Cranbrook went into the game with a bare 11, and, to underline the current problems facing team boss Jon Martin with his side beset by work commitments, holiday absences and injuries, he and his assistant, plus a player carrying an injury, were the only bodies available to make up the bench!
What's more, recent signing Tom Purdy volunteered to go in goal, a task he completed with aplomb! Cranbrook made a good start and had already carved out a number of chances before Jordan Wilkinson fired them ahead. A youthful Colyton replied almost immediately, punishing a defensive mix-up in the home ranks at a corner and they struck again to lead 2-1 when a wind-assisted strike from fully 35-yards sailed over stand-in glovesman Purdy's head!
However, Cranbrook have bags of character in their ranks this season, and they stayed calm and deservedly levelled before the break with Wilkinson netting his second.
The second half saw Cranbrook - and in particular - Jordan Wilkinson - take charge, as the former Ottery St Mary player scored a second half hat-trick to finish with five goals and Tre Davey also found the back of the net.
A delighted Cranbrook boss, Jon Martin said: "They [Colyton] fielded a much more youthful looking side than the one we had faced a few weeks before and they did work their socks off. That said, we stuck with it and Jordan [Wilkinson], who had dragged himself off his sick bed to help the cause, gave a lesson in clinical finishing! It was once again the case that everyone played their part in getting us the win. Yes, we were down to the bare bones, but, and so typical of this set of lads, everyone dug in to help us get through and bank another big three points."
Cranbrook, who completed half their league season with Saturday's win over Colyton Reserves, sit eight points shy of leaders Central, who have played six games more.
This Saturday (February 15), Cranbrook are again in home action with Bampton the visitors to the Cranbrook Education Campus (3pm).
Looking ahead to Saturday's game, Martin says: "I am very hopeful that we will have a few players back for the Bampton game and I remain hopeful of getting a couple more new players in before our next game."
As for reaching halfway sitting second, the Cranbrook boss says: "Central have a good lead, but for our part we are just trying to stay in contention. It is a very tight division in terms of from second to mid-table and we do have a run of tough games coming up so I shall be looking for us to simply keep 'digging out' the wins.
"We are fortunate to have bags of goals in us as 52 in 12 games proves and, with the likes of Jordan [Wilkinson], Tom [Taylor], Tre [Davey] and Dan [Macdonald] all knowing where the net is and finding it on a regular basis, the immediate future does look healthy, but we need to mindful of the need to keep working, as you get nowt without putting the hard yards in."