Ducks boss Tony Joyce was quick to play down the performance of striker
Stacey Field after he hit his fifth hat-trick of the season, but only because he doesn’t want to lose his star man.
Goals are the currency of football and Field, the club’s top scorer, gets them in abundance.
That’s why Joyce, who watched his side eventually wrest control of this local derby after Tring Athletic dominated the opening exchanges, is so keen to deflect attention away from his prize asset.
“Stacey got another hat-trick, and he’s not doing too bad the boy!” Joyce said through gritted teeth.
“He reminds me of Clive Allen in that he is always in the right place and he finishes well.
“He’s one of those players that he’s not massive, he’s not powerful and I don’t think defenders pay him too much attention and then he pops up and before you know it he’s scored a hat-trick.
“We like to keep him a bit quiet at our place, though, if you know what I mean!”
With Athletic so in control of the game in the first 10 minutes it was a quick double strike which ultimately decided the game at Cow Lane.
Field and Ben Baines netted before a third goal, scored by Field, came 10 minutes before the break to all but seal the three points.
The heavens opened during the break, but the Grassroots Stadium pitch held up remarkably well ensuring the game was never in doubt.
The second half saw the Ducks add only one more goal, Field completing his hat-trick in the 48th minute, his 29th goal of the campaign so far.
With their rivals around them at the top of the league having similarly comfortable victories, it is as you were at the top of the Spartan South Midlands Premier League table, and all to play for in the chase for a promotion spot.
Joyce added: “We’ve just got to keep winning games, that’s in our hands.
“Everyone has to play everyone at the top in the coming weeks so points will be dropped and something has to give.
“Hopefully it won’t be us dropping the points and we can kick on.”
United were due to play leaders Dunstable in the Premier Division Cup on Tuesday night before travelling to London Colney on Saturday.