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Vaughan: Tilbury can be title contenders
8:00am Friday 31st August 2012 in Sport
PAUL Vaughan watched his Tilbury side smash Ware for six before declaring: We can be in the title mix.
The Dockers strolled to their first league win of the season over a poor Ware side to take their bank-holiday weekend goal tally to 11 in two.
If anyone had doubts that Tilbury might lack potency without last season’s top goal scorer Alex Read, who moved to Brentwood in the summer, the Dockers forwards proved otherwise as they walloped a weak Ware side.
The easy win came 48-hours after the Dockers had beaten Brantham Athletic 5-1 in the FA Cup, with new signing Danny Francis hitting a hat-trick.
Against the Hertfordshire side on Monday, Tilbury were better all over the pitch, showing greater hunger and determination to win possession.
The Dockers’ first goal had been on the cards for most of the first half. Francis, a Dominican international, signed over the summer to replace Read, missed a hatful of early chances before Martin Llewellyn pounced on a loose ball to round the keeper and give Tilbury a lead after 27 minutes.
Six minutes into the second half, Tom Wraight, the impressive left-wing teenager, who has risen through the club’s youth system, finished a clever move, receiving the ball in acres of space and showing great composure to pick his spot to beat the Ware keeper, Rhys Madden.
After a scrappy 20 minute lull in the game that saw a plethora of fouls and some untidy football, Francis got the goal that his endeavours deserved.
The striker, who always seems to be in the right place at the right time got on the end of Wraight’s cross, hitting the post with his first prod at goal before tapping in the rebound on 72 minutes and four minutes later, Francis’ diving header gave Tilbury their fourth.
Llewellyn then netted his second and Dockers’ fifth before some sloppy defending – a minor blemish in an otherwise flawless performance – allowed Ware’s centre half Michael Akande to beat James Marrable.
Aiken then latched onto a through ball from sub Bradley Hooper, chipping Madden to make it six in stoppage time. The win saw last year’s play-off semi-finalists maintain their unbeaten start to the season, notching up nine goals in three games.
Manager Vaughan called the performance “first-class” and is hopeful his side can push on after being a tad unlucky in their first few games. They conceded late against Brentwood Town to draw and had a man sent off when on top against Potters Bar.
He said: “With the players and the personnel we’ve had to change I’d say that on paper, Tilbury look half-decent and I’m hoping we can be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. We’ve had a little taste of it last year, so let’s try again.
“Ware are a work in progress and we’ve got to do jobs like this on teams like that and make a statement.”
Vaughan said that impressive youngsters Wraight and centre-half Jake Pooley will do well at the club and on Francis, he said: “He’s done a fantastic job. We’ve made a statement and gone out and found someone to replace Alex.
“We left it right to the last minute but we went and did the business, despite Danny being all ready to go and play for Aveley.”