Watts-Sturrock grabs hat-trick as Bradenham’s fine start continues

George Watts-Sturrock was Bradenham Wanderers' hat-trick hero. Picture: Club

George Watts-Sturrock was Bradenham Wanderers' hat-trick hero. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

A stunning hat-trick from captain George Watts-Sturrock secured newly promoted Bradenham's second win in the space of five days in the Anglian Combination Premier Division.

Still high from the 3-0 win at Mattishall the previous Tuesday (Jordan Rowe, George Watts-Sturrock, Ryan Curtis), Bradenham beat Beccles Town 3-2 at Hale Road.

The Bulldogs had to shuffle their pack as no less than six players who excelled in the derby were unavailable. Fortunately manager Kevin Stagles was able to include Josh Macann and Scott Sutherland-Gray, who had missed the midweek win, and also welcomed new signing Roy Bevis into the squad.

It was the visitors who took the lead, capitalising on a poor back pass to leave Jake Cox in the Bradenham goal with no chance.

The second half saw a much improved Bradenham, with the majority of play taking place in the Beccles final third. Ricky Forder grazed the top on the bar and Sutherland-Gray saw a goal-bound header cleared off the line.

It was looking like being one of those days until Curtis danced his way into the Beccles penalty area and was tripped. The referee pointed to the spot and Watts-Sturrock coolly slotted home the spot-kick.

It wasn't long before Bradenham took the lead. Macann cut in powerfully from the left and played a pass into the path of Watts-Sturrock to hit his shot first time from 20 yards. The ball hit the inside of the upright and went in to make it 2-1.

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Beccles appeared to have gained a point when, in the 85th minute, a rare counter-attack wasn't dealt with well and a visiting striker was on hand to score. But Bradenham picked themselves up and Watts-Sturrock provided a late moment of magic. With just 90 seconds on the clock, he gained possession 25 yards from goal and having twisted and turned he unleashed a fierce left footed drive that rocketed into the top corner.

Bradenham lost for the first time this season on Tuesday evening when they went down 2-0 at Mulbarton while Mattishall recorded an impressive 2-0 home win over early pacesetters Norwich CEYMS.

Bradenham are at home to Caister on Saturday.

Wells Town were beaten 5-0 at home by Thetford Rovers in their Division Two opener. They are at home to Acle Reserves on Saturday.