Long Crendon returned to home turf at the Recreation Ground with a 4-0 victory over a stubborn Old Bradwell United side.
Manager Ryan Davis was forced into one change from the win over Chalvey. Alex Farley was unable to arrive for kick off and he was replaced by James Hawkes, with Oli Lethbridge assuming captaincy duties.
Conditions were difficult with a gusting wind and a dry uneven surface not making it easy for the players but Crendon took control of the game playing the better football. Nevertheless, it was clear that Old Bradwell would provide tricky opposition with plenty of physical presence in their side and a sprinkling of pace on the break. Crendon were handed an early chance to take the initiative when a long ball found Oli Lethbridge in the box and has he looked to turn and hit a shot, he was dragged to the floor for a penalty. The usually reliable Nathan Brownsword stepped up but his effort hit the bar and span behind for a goal kick. Despite this, Crendon remained in the ascendancy, although Old Bradwell fired a warning when they broke quickly down the right but their striker fired across the face of goal from a narrow angle.
James Hawkes was providing some teasing deliveries from the left and one particularly inviting cross looked perfect for Oli Lethbridge until it sat up unexpectedly and he couldn’t guide his header on target. Harry Pettingell then hit the bar with a header as Crendon attempted to test out all parts of their new goals.
However, just as they were getting a little frustrated, Hawkes repeated the dose and Eliot Farley steered home a controlled volley to send the home side in front. Billy Lane then nearly doubled the lead with a similar volley to his goal from the previous week but the Old Bradwell keeper made a good diving save.
The goal seemed to settle any lingering Crendon nerves and the second half saw them run away with the game. It was an attritional game for midfielders and on the hour Davis freshened it up by sending on Alex Farley and Archie Pettingell. Archie had an immediate impact flicking on for brother Harry, who struck an angled volley into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. A stunning strike to follow on from last week’s brilliant efforts and it really put Old Bradwell’s heads down. A few minutes later Eliot Farley turned his man in midfield and finessed an inch perfect through ball to Hawkes who gave it the finish it deserved to make it 3-0, and capped a fine performance from both players. It was now a question of how many for Crendon – Dino Bonwick rampaged forward with a weaving run and cross that was turned against his own post by a lunging defender, before Archie Pettingell hit the underside of the crossbar as Old Bradwell tried to keep it respectable. On 83 minutes, though, Archie Pettingell got the goal his lively substitute performance deserved, tapping in at the far post after Oli Lethbridge and Harry Pettingell had combined.
Team: Collingwood, B Sykes (Russell), Bonwick, T Lethbridge, Lane (A Farley), Brownsword, E Farley, H Pettingell, Hawkes, T Sykes (A Pettingell), O Lethbridge.
A seventh clean sheet in eight games, then, and another three points to maintain the 100% league record. In the other big game in the league, Penn beat Langley 4-1 to remain three points clear having played a game more. Crendon return to action a week on Tuesday in the Chairman’s Challenge Cup with a trip to Abingdon United (7.45pm kick off).