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Burnham rise to fourth through Gritt and determination

Burnham rise to fourth through Gritt and determination

Joe Gritt and Sam Ayres fired the Blues into fourth place of the Hellenic Premier Division, as they overcame a feisty local derby against Holmer Green on Saturday, with a 3-0 victory at The Gore.

Burnham have now played a total of 18 games in the division this season compared to some of their league counterparts who will have games in hand to catch up on the Blues. But the victory will undoubtedly give Paul Shone’s side confidence going further along their hectic timeline of matches this Christmas.

It took just five minutes for Shone’s side to put themselves in the ascendancy with Gritt powering a header past a rooted Ryan Latter to chalk on his first goal of the game. 

The Blues proved to be a dominant presence with the goal advantage, relying on whipped crosses and tricky through balls to pile the pressure on Holmer’s defence and reduce them to just their half in the match’s opening 15 minutes.

Skipper Thomas Willment was the backbone of Burnham’s success, powering forward from defence with marauding runs and went close to getting himself on the scoresheet after Sam Coles won the Blues a free kick just outside the box.

However, the captain could only see his thumping effort crash off the underside of the bar and down onto the goal line before Holmer could scramble it away.

The visitors found it difficult to deal with Burnham’s attack and were forced into making fouls as a way to nullify the threats of Sam Coles and Ayres up front. However, the referee kept his cards in his pocket and both sides went into the break unscathed by any bookings.

The second half continued in the same vein of the first, and Burnham’s next chance of note fell to Ayres who’s driving run towards goal was quickly dealt with by Holmer’s Liam Tyler. 

But the effort was certainly a sign Ayres’ intent. The number eight doubled Burnham’s lead on the stroke of the hour with a tidy finish into Latter’s far corner after he was given to much space on the right side of the pitch.

Burnham controlled the tempo of the match well, upping it where they saw fit, and that they did in the game’s final ten minutes.

Within a flurry of chances, Willment hit the bar for the second time in the match on the 82nd minute and Christian’s fierce header stung the gloves of Latter in the 85th, as the Blues looked in no mood to opt to wind the clock down.

In what appeared to be a replica of his first, Gritt was on hand to round off a fine afternoon for his side with another strong header into the visitors’ net to compile the misery on Holmer Green who had been outplayed from the first minute to the last.

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