The impressive manner in which Bovingdon dealt with the conditions was praised by Lee Bircham after watching his side demolish Knebworth 9-0 to move another three points closer to the Herts Senior County League title.

The Green Lane side made it 18 wins out of 19 Premier Division games on Saturday to remain nine points clear of Letchworth Garden City Eagles with two matches in hand, seemingly making it even more a case of when, and not if, they secure the league crown.

Seven different players found the net in the away rout, but the Bovingdon boss was pleased to see Courtney Massay net his first hat-trick for the club.

“He’s been absolutely marvellous for us this season, both on and off the pitch, and he really seems to be loving his football at the minute. Long may that continue,” Bircham said.

Turning to the performance, he continued: “Obviously with a result like this we are bound to be pleased. But what pleased me and my assistant Louis Austin as much was how we adapted to the conditions.

“On a few occasions this season and also last week against Letchworth we’ve tried to play our normal passing game when the conditions are telling you otherwise.

“Today was different. From the very start we played the pitch and wind and put the ball in good areas and played our football from further forward. Then once that was done we could then get the ball down and play through midfield etc.

“It shows the team, more so the younger lads, are learning all the time and there’s always more than one way to win a game of football.”

It took the visitors less than a minute to make the breakthrough as Martin Standen scored his first goal for the club from a Massay delivery.

Massay turned provider again for skipper Matt Standen to double the lead on 15 minutes, and four minutes later came the third when Connor Deadman fired home from just outside the box.

The fourth goal arrived seven minutes before the break when Will Summerfield netted his 16th of the season from midfield.

As with the first half, Bovingdon were to score inside the opening minute after the resumption, with Massay getting his first of the game.

That was to be the first of three consecutive assists from Matt Standen as he set up Ben Davis for the sixth on the hour, before Massay netted his second five minutes later.

The hat-trick scorer had arrived as a full-back from AFC Dunstable, but he took his tally to 15 goals in 17 appearances for Bovingdon by completing his treble, and it fell to Dara Dada to complete the scoring with eight minutes remaining from 20 yards.

While the leaders have nine league games left to play, mid-table Bushey Sports Club have just three following their 2-1 victory at Belstone, for whom Darren Turner scored.

A third-minute goal from Jamie Higgs, and two in the last six minutes from Adrian Abramian, fired Chipperfield Corinthians to a crucial 3-1 success at Cuffley, lifting them out of the bottom three.