Jim O’Brien’s hat-trick eased play-off chasing Notts County to a 4-0 Vanarama National League win at unfortunate Maidenhead.
Strike partners Ruben Rodrigues and Kyle Wootton combined for a succession of early County chances before the opening goal arrived in the 10th minute, O’Brien making the most of Michael Doyle’s ball over the top.
Maidenhead manager Alan Devonshire was red-carded as the teams left the field at half-time and keeper Rhys Lovett, who had had lengthy treatment after saving from Rodrigues late in the first half, had to be replaced early in the second period – with no goalkeeper on the bench, midfielder James Comley was forced to don the gloves.
O’Brien struck again in the 65th minute after good work down the left by Miller, and then completed his hat-trick from a penalty after Wootton was fouled.
Rodrigues got on the scoresheet in the closing stages after bursting clear of a tired defence, County’s 11th goal in a run of three straight wins.