Charlie Bowen hit a hat-trick of sorts as Godmanchester Rovers avoided slipping on a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division banana skin.

Central defender Bowen struck twice at the right end and once in the wrong net as promotion-chasing Rovers won 3-1 at bottom side Whitton United.

Micky Hyem made the only breakthrough of the opening period when nodding in after a John Yambasu blast had been parried dinto his path.

Bowen then got in on the act with a brace of back-post headers in the second period to secure an 11th victory in the last 12 league games for Rovers.

He also provided the hosts' consolation when beating his own goalkeeper, Niall Conroy, who made a couple of vital saves at key points in the contest.

Rovers boss Matt Clements said: “We got the breakthrough at a good time late in the first half and were able to build on it after half-time.

“Charlie has been an excellent source of goals for us this season and it is a great boost to have that from a defender.

“Whitton might be bottom, but it wasn't an easy game. They were pretty direct and caused us some problems as a result of it.

“We had to rely on Niall for a couple of important stops - one when it was still goalless and one which prevented them getting it back to 3-2.”

Rovers remain third after this success, but are now just five points behind second-placed Stanway and also boast three matches in hand on the Essex side.

Clements' men have not lost a league game for three-and-a-half months and are also only one short of a century of league goals after just 30 games.

They now face a run of seven successive league games - on the next four Wednesdays and three Saturdays - before hitting the road again on the final day of the season.