SKIPPER Peter Clarke was twice denied a hat trick as Town hammered Wycombe 6-0 in front of the Sky cameras – but he was happy to accept his fate.
The centre-back grabbed Town’s opener with a firm header on 21 minutes, had a claim turned down when Wanderers keeper Jamie Young clawed another effort onto the bar and watched the ball bounce on the line just before half-time, and then added his second on 63 minutes.
It looked as though his chance of a treble had gone, but when Town were awarded a penalty on 83 minutes his chance was there – only for the skipper to allow striker Theo Robinson to get back into scoring form.
“I was certainly up for taking the penalty,” said Clarke.
“But Theo had been having a little bit of bad luck and you could tell by his demeanour that he was down.
“So to boost his confidence a bit we let him take the penalty, perhaps against my better judgement but there you go.
“I have scored from the spot enough times in the past, so I would have taken it. I have never had a hat trick and there probably won’t be too many more occasions when I have the chance, but it is about the team winning and if it means that Theo’s confidence is back up then that’s all well and good.
“And it was great to see the way the fans got behind Theo when he was having no luck, but our fans have been great and they are behind all of us all the way which is fantastic.”
Clarke was more than happy with his two goals, which took his tally to four for the season, but he clearly thought he had already completed his hat trick.
“The first one I got across the defender and managed to head in, the second my first effort was blocked but it rolled back into my path and I managed to get enough contact to score.
“With the one before half-time I must admit I thought the ball crossed the line, and so did some of the lads, but there you go.”
But Clarke was happy with a another Town victory that he felt was built on the back of the team spirit engendered in the camp.
“We really do work for one another and the spirit is excellent,” said Clarke.
“There is a real camaraderie there and hopefully as a squad we have got the quality as well.
“If the two go hand-in-hand then that should hopefully keep us in the running this season.”