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Brady man­ager Si­mon Hakim was left be­moan­ing a con­tro­ver­sial off­side de­ci­sion which ef­fec­tively cost his side any hope of get­ting a re­sult against a strong looking NWN B.

With just five min­utes of the first-half re­main­ing, and with his side al­ready trail­ing 1-0, Neas­den’s Bruno Frankel was played into the penalty area and slot­ted un­der­neath Oliver Col­mans. De­spite tak­ing a minute to con­fer with his as­sis­tant, ref­eree Nigel Burns awarded the goal, spark­ing heavy protests from the Brady team.

Hakim said: “I think the old adage about goals chang­ing games ap­plies here. We were com­pet­ing well up to that point. The player him­self ad­mit­ted he was in an off­side po­si­tion af­ter­wards, but it’s dif­fi­cult for the ref­eree to al­ways get it right.”

Hakim’s side started well in what was billed as the grudge match of the sea­son, with Neas­den ea­ger to prove they were none the poorer for hav­ing lost five play­ers to Brady over the sum­mer.

A danger­ous in­swing­ing cor­ner from Brady’sAn­drewShus­ter­caused­prob­lems for a makeshift Neas­den back-four, with only a goalline clear­ance pre­vent­ing the away side from tak­ing an early lead.

But it was Neas­den who took the lead af­ter 27 min­utes with Alex Bow­man sprint­ing through from the right and slot­ting home. Frankel scored the con­tro­ver­sial sec­ond when Brady failed to spring the off­side trap

The vis­i­tors started the sec­ond half brightly, but their hopes of get­ting back into the game dimmed just be­fore the hour when Neas­den old boy Josh Rosen­field was se­ri­ously in­jured af­ter dam­ag­ing his knee in a block-tackle. The mid­fielder, who was later ex­am­ined by am­bu­lance­men, had to be helped off by team­mates as the match was de­layed.

The third goal ar­rived 15 min­utes from time when Bradley Sharp’s curl­ing free-kick was spilled by Col­mans, al­low­ing Bow­man to tap home.He blew his hat-trick, hit­ting the post from the spot af­ter Col­mans brought down sub­sti­tute Ste­vie Krein.

Neas­den’s joint-man­agers are de­lighted with the progress of their side. Sammy Carr said: “We’ve put a new team to­gether and we can only get bet­ter. We’ve been writ­ten off by some but this re­sult shows we’re right in the ti­tle hunt.” Ryan Glynne felt that, once his side got ahead, there was only one re­sult in prospect: “For the first 20 min­utes they were quicker out the traps. But once we scored we looked comfortable and it was a solid per­for­mance. We scored goals at key times.”

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