BOWERS & Pitsea moved seven points clear at the top of the Isthmian North thanks to a 4-1 win over Great Wakering Rovers.

Goals from the hosts’ David Knight, Martyn Stokes, Ben Sartain and Brad Warner resulted in Brian Moses’ effort being no more than a consolation for Wakering at the Len Salmon Stadium.

But Wakering boss Garry Kimble feels there could have been a different outcome had Joshua Wiggins not missed a sitter with just seven minutes of the Isthmian North encounter played.

Kimble said: “We gifted them the first three goals, but I think that miss affected Wiggo.

“I know the chance came early on, but it changes the game if Wiggo scores because they would have been under a bit of pressure to score a goal and get back into the game.

“They scored their first goal after Wiggo lost possession and the miss affected him.

“Their centre-half didn’t know anything about it for the second goal and third goal was a goalkeeping error.

“A 3-0 lead flattered them at half-time and we huffed and puffed after the break.

“I told the players at half-time that it was about damage limitation in the second half.

“When you’re down near the bottom of the table, you get punished.

“We didn’t turn up and too many of our players weren’t good enough.”

With just seven minutes on the clock, Moses got the better of Stokes and found Wiggins with a square pass but, with the goal at his mercy, Wiggins’ tame strike was straight at Bowers goalkeeper Andy Wilton.

Knight broke the deadlock by diverting James Thomas’ pinpoint cross home after 19 minutes.

And the table-toppers doubled their advantage thanks to a Stokes header soon before the half hour mark.

Sartain’s long range strike escaped the clutches of Wakering goalkeeper Coey Turipa as Bowers all but sealed the win by half-time.

Warner headed home Bowers’ fourth goal 20 minutes from time, but the hosts were unable to keep a clean sheet as Moses grabbed a consolation with an impressive volley.

Bowers boss Rob Small said: “Three points is three points, but I thought the scoreline was very harsh on Wakering at half-time.

“I thought that was the worst we had played and that is arguably a consequence of Christmas.

“We weren’t as good as we can be but we have lost games where we have played better, so it sometimes evens itself out.”

Bowers & Pitsea: Wilton, Sammons, Stephen, Stokes, Halle (Clark 26), Leahy (Dicks 46), Monville (Cornhill 70), Sartain, Warner, Knight, Thomas

Great Wakering Rovers: Turipa, Skelton, Woodhouse, Pethers, Glover, Cox, Wiggins (Gordon 46), Harris, Barnwell, Moses, Johnson (Marah 57 (Makhendi 80))