Emphatic Chard Town triumph hailed as best during manager's spell
CHARD Town boss Nik Flory hailed his side's 4-0 demolition of Almondsbury UWE as the best performance of his 18-month tenure but admitted it came at a cost.
The Robins flew through their first test since Boxing Day, bossing the Toolstation Western League Division One clash to state to their promotion rivals that they mean business.
However, they lost influential duo Andy Martin and Adam Fricker to injury, with their future absence threatening to take the gloss off the win earned by a Nathan Warren double and singles from Sam Spurway and Taoufik Ben Salem.
Midfielder Martin spent the night in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, after dislocating his shoulder and could require surgery on the joint, whilst assistant boss and former manager of the month Fricker injured his ankle.
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Three points in South Gloucestershire took Chard to third in the table, seven points off top spot with two games in hand.
Flory said: "We hadn't played since Boxing Day so I was worried about the effect that would have but it was the complete opposite. We hit the ground running and were brilliant from the first minute.
"We didn't give them time to settle on the ball. In recent weeks Almondsbury have beaten Cribbs Life and (league leaders) Hengrove Athletic so we knew it was going to be particularly hard on that pitch up there.
"Since I have joined that was probably the best complete display. Everyone did exactly what I wanted and we bossed it for 90 minutes. We played some great football when we needed to, it was perfect and the score line could have been more.
"It will send out a message. People knew full well we hadn't played since Boxing Day. I have trained them harder now than in pre-season and really put them through it. This result gives a statement like we have never been away."
Warren's goals both came from the edge of the box, whilst Spurway's aerial prowess earned his strike.
Flory revealed he may look outside the club to replace Flory and Fricker whilst they are sidelined, but also encouraged the club's younger talent to step up to the plate.
"Probably for about three or four minutes after Andy went off we looked lost as he is a big leader," he said. "But we have got people to return and everyone needs to be stepping up, taking the challenge and become winners and leaders. If the opportunity comes they have got to take it.
"I do think we need to strengthen if we can and if Andy is out for the long-term we will have to look around. It's the second or third time he has dislocated his shoulder but he just wants to play football. I would love him to be available but it might be six weeks."
Town host Welton Rovers on Saturday with Flory targeting another five-star performance.
"On their day they can be dangerous but if we go in with the right attitude and ability then I am expecting nothing less than three points," he said. "We have got to be winners and think like winners.
"The lads are not over-confident but there was an air of confidence when we started playing and expressed ourselves at Almondsbury. We have got to get that through March and April."