SHOMARI Barnwell scored a hat-trick as Great Wakering Rovers sealed a 3-0 win over Mildenhall Town to ensure another season of Isthmian North football.

Wakering made the trip to Recreation Way knowing that three points against the strugglers would be enough to secure safety and stave off an immediate return to the Essex Senior League.

And interim player-manager Steve Butterworth was pleased to see his side notch a convincing victory.

“We have been the underdogs for a lot of the season, but we weren’t against Mildenhall,” said Butterworth.

“I fancied us to go there and win comfortably and we did.

“I didn’t expect us to come close to going down with the players we brought in.

“If we had this team from the start of the season then we would be in the top half of the table.

“The pressure is off now that we are over the line and I am looking forward to us playing the top two - Bowers & Pitsea and Maldon & Tiptree - because then we will be able to see how far we have come.”

Barnwell has been struggling for goals since joining Wakering, but the frontman broke the deadlock with 17 minutes on the clock.

The former Grays Athletic striker doubled Wakering’s advantage soon after the hour mark.

Although the visitors finished the encounter with 10 men as Marc Gorbell picked up two yellow cards, there was still time for Barnwell to complete his hat-trick six minutes from time.

As a result, Barnwell was able to take his tally to nine goals for the season and Butterworth believes the better quality of service provided to the striker is paying dividends.

“Sham has been doing everything right but just hasn’t been scoring goals,” added Butterworth.

“He was superb against Coggeshall Town last time out and was exactly the same at Mildenhall.

“He was big, strong, won everything in the air and held the ball up well.

“The three that have come in and play around him have helped.

“Shad Ngandu and Marcus Milner are behind him, while Martin Tuohy is alongside him and brings so much experience.

“He is getting better quality coming into him and that is enabling him to score more goals.”

The dismissal of Gorbell proved frustrating for Butterworth.

Having being cautioned soon before the interval, the central defender was shown a second yellow card with 10 minutes to play.

Butterworth admitted: “I have no complaints about the first yellow card. For the second yellow card, the guy got the ball past him and Marc jumped out of the way but the player still went down and the referee bought it.”