FAIRFORD Town were on the end of a 5-1 defeat at high-flying Thatcham Town on Saturday, with a contentious second half red card sealing the visitors’ fate.
The Gloucestershire side, missing Jamie Reid and James Campbell from the midweek win over Tuffley, included Steve Hall and Matt Boucher in the starting line-up against a side who had lost just once in their opening nine Premier Division fixtures.
The hosts broke the deadlock with 25 minutes played as a square ball into the box was finished by Ekow Elliot. It was two shortly after as a ball over the top found Joe Blount who slotted home past Ben Mitchell having beaten the offside trap.
Thatcham made it 3-0 with 33 minutes on the clock as Shane Cooper-Clark fired home a free-kick in off the post for his 16th goal on his 14th outing of the campaign.
Liam Gale reduced the arrears as he swept home for the visitors two minutes before the break.
Lee Smith was dismissed for a second yellow card on the hour before the visitors made the extra man count with two goals in the remaining half an hour.
Former Swindon and Sheffield Wednesday youngster Harry Grant came off the bench and notched the fourth before Cooper-Clark notched his 17th of the campaign to round off the scoring.
F/T: Thatcham Town 5 Fairford Town 1
Fairford Town: Ben Mitchell; George Thrussell, Nathan Hawkins, Ben Saunders, Michael Oakes; Lee Smith, Matt Boucher, Josh Gregory, Steve Hall; Josh Morse, Liam Gale
Substitutes: Jody Bevan, Martin Hall, Simon Gale, Dan Reynolds