Bellingham and Bridges double up to stun Atherstone

Mark Bellingham, scorer of two of Southam's five goals.
Mark Bellingham, scorer of two of Southam's five goals.

Mark Bellingham and Louis Bridges scored two goals apiece as Southam United won 5-1 at Atherstone Town to end their hosts’ four-game winning streak.

Bellingham gave Southam the perfect start to the Midland League Division One clash when he clipped home the opener in the second minute after the ball had been worked across the box.

This led to a period of domination for Saints with Joao Farzior de Sousa twice going close.

With Max Crisp outstanding in midfield and Adam Guest marshalling the defence, Adders rarely troubled Southam and it was no surprise when the lead was doubled in the 22nd minute, Chris Bright firing home from the edge of the box.

Saints went 3-0 up in the 39th minute, hunting the ball down in midfield and, with the referee playing a good advantage, Bellingham swept the ball home after Lee Thomas’ powerful cross-shot had been parried by keeper Philip Smith.

Southam remained on the front foot after the interval and Louis Bridges fired home a fourth eight minutes into the half after a corner was only half-cleared.

Guest had two headers from corners cleared off the line and both Sousa and Bridges went close to adding to the score before Bellingham and Bridges combined well for the latter to slot home the fifth.

Mark Latham pulled back a consolation for Atherstone 15 minutes from time.

Despite the late concession, Saints boss Quentin Townsend was delighted with his team’s complete performance.

“Having seen Atherstone play recently I deliberately set things up a little differently and all the players responded very well,” said Townsend.

“It helped to score so early from our first chance but in the end it could have been any score.”

Saints entertain Studley tomorrow in a league encounter (3pm).