BROMYARD FC continued their unbeaten season with a comprehensive victory away to Orleton Colts Reserves, in Herefordshire League Division Three.
Former Worcester City striker Chris Jefferson scored a brace in a super performance to aid Bromyard’s march to inevitable promotion.
“He’s obviously a great player to have, being a former semi-pro and, watching him on the pitch, you wouldn’t think he’s 36 years old,” said Bromyard player-coach Matt Beale.
“He leads by example as club captain and today he was fantastic up front.”
Jefferson, who used to be on the books at West Bromwich Albion, looked a threat from the start and appeared to be tripped in the box after just 10 minutes.
However, the referee waved play on, much to the frustration of the Bromyard players.
But Jefferson soon broke the deadlock when Kirk Bickley nodded the ball on and the striker made no mistake with the finish.
Early in the second-half, Jefferson and James Cable had shots blocked in the penalty area as it just seemed to be a matter of time before the visitors extended their lead.
And on the hour-mark, a through-ball from Cable found Connor Bennington, whose low strike crept into the corner past goalkeeper Chris Waldron.
Orleton looked threatening on the counter-attack and striker Toby Siveter, looking to add to his impressive goal-tally of 16 this season, had two half-chances to bring his side back into the game.
It was a frustrating afternoon for the youngster though, who was also booked for charging down the keeper.
At the other end, Cable and Jefferson continued to probe and the latter chipped in a delightful cross for Cable to nod home.
With Orleton searching for a reply, Bromyard counter-attacked and Jefferson was on target again, weaving his away around the defence and keeper to finish.
With 90 minutes gone on the clock, Paul Jones volleyed over a glorious chance for Orleton, Nath Coles had an effort cleared off the line and Siveter found himself in plenty of space with a one-on-one and despite rounding the keeper, a last-ditch block ensured a clean sheet for the away side.
“We just seemed to take our chances when we had them but I think if they’d have taken some of theirs and scored at the right time, we’d have been in for a tougher match,” admitted ex-Hereford United player, Beale.
He added: “We have a good mixture of young and old lads and despite having a few injuries from last week and being pretty tired, we’re glad to come through with the win.”
With the club looking odds-on for promotion to Herefordshire League Division Two, in the Herefordshire Junior FA Cup Final and two other cup semi-finals, Beale confirmed: “We expect to be at the top and maybe win the league but cups are a bonus for us, like taking the scalp of First Division Wellington Colts last week.
“We’ve got two more semi-finals against higher opposition sides but the league is our priority.”
Orleton Colts Reserves player-manager, Waldron, added: “It wasn’t the result that we were looking for today.
“Bromyard were just too good for us and some of their players were just simply another class.”
“We’ve got some better players this season because being a Ludlow lad, I’ve brought in some new guys from over there to help us out.
“Our target this season was to finish mid-table, maybe the top-four but whether we can do that now, I’m not so sure.”
With his busy role as player-manager and filling in as a goalkeeper for the day, Waldron said: “I didn’t have a great game but I had to do it for the team.
“I enjoy my football and wouldn’t be without it which is why I was at the ground at 10.30am getting the pitch ready.”
MATCH FACTS ORLETON COLTS RESERVES: Waldron, Woods, Coles, N Dahn, Morris, Harding, C Dahn, James, Thomas, Siveter, Ridley. Subs: Swann, Jones, Healey. BROMYARD FC: Tickle, Harris, Bayliss, Taylor, Johnston, Cable, Bickley, R Owens, Beale, Jefferson, Sivitar. Subs: Bennington, Hoskins, Wall, C Owens. Referee: Steve Hughes (Herefordshire FA). Booked: Orleton: Siveter 55. Star Man: Chris Jefferson (Bromyard).