Jack Friend is getting sharper, says Wisbech St Mary boss Arran Duke after striker fires league hat-trick

PUBLISHED: 11:59 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:04 23 November 2016

Wisbech St Mary manager, Arran Duke.

Wisbech St Mary manager, Arran Duke.

Archant

Wisbech St Mary manager Arran Duke says prolific striker Jack Friend is getting better and better after he netted another hat-trick last weekend.

Friend bagged his third hat-trick of the season – his first in St Mary colours – as his new side hammered lowly Dereham Town Reserves 5-1 to move within five points of third-placed Holland FC in the Thurlow Nunn Division One.

The 19-year-old has now netted four goals since his move from Wisbech Town last month, and boss Duke says he is delighted to see him enjoying his football at Beechings Close.

“Jack is getting sharper and sharper,” he said.

“We are certainly reaping the benefits of it and he took all three of his goals very well.

“It’s great to see him playing with confidence again.”

Robbie Harris and Ricky Bowden completed the rout last Saturday, and Duke says it was pleasing to watch his side respond to their defeat to Diss Town a fortnight ago in such style.

“It was nice to get the reaction I expected from the lads,” Duke said.

“It was a very good performance. James McManus returned and was excellent in the middle of the park with young Jakub Ziabka, who is getting better and better each week.”

The Villagers can move even further up the league standings this weekend if they can beat top-six rivals, Halstead Town (3pm).

The Essex outfit have only been beaten once this term, and Duke knows his men are in for a difficult afternoon on Saturday.

He said: “I’m sure Halstead will be a tough test. We have to find some consistency in our performances and start believing in ourselves more so we can put a run together.”

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