Crowhurst beat Bexhill Town in East Sussex League's top-two tussle
The top two in the East Sussex Football League went head-to-head on Saturday and Crowhurst emerged 2-0 winners at home to Bexhill Town.
Strikes by Aaron Davies and Sean Lennard earned Crowhurst their fifth Premier Division victory out of five, and left them a point above their victims with two games in hand.
Battle Town had seven different players on the scoresheet as they moved up to third on goal difference following an 8-0 success at home to Northiam 75.
Mike Booth, Ryan Souter, Trystan Mayhew, Zak Hurst, Ian Rafati, Glen Carrick and Tom Cann netted for a Battle side which is two points behind Crowhurst having played an extra match.
Still unbeaten St Leonards Social dropped below Battle to fourth, albeit with a game in hand, despite winning 3-2 at home to Wadhurst United.
The goals of Antony Atkin, Adam Reilly and Sam Richardson took Social's points tally to 13 from a possible 15, even though Zac McKay scored twice for Wadhurst.
Fifth-placed Punnetts Town have picked up a healthy 10 points from their first five league outings following a 6-2 triumph away to Rock-a-Nore. Sam Divall and George Marshall bagged two goals apiece, and Casey Ham and Tim Johnson also netted.
Jason Donoghue plundered a four-goal salvo and Leon Fisher blasted a hat-trick as Hawkhurst United ran out 7-2 victors away to Robertsbridge United.
Guy Ballard and Curtis Coombes replied for Robertsbridge, but it was nowhere near enough to stop the Hawks rising to sixth after back-to-back wins.
Rye Town went top of Division One after remarkably coming from 1-0 down at half time to win 9-1 at home to Sedlescombe Rangers II.
Jules Phillips led the second-half scoring spree with five goals, Sam Hesmer bagged a couple, and there was one apiece for Tom Thomson and Craig Pierce as Rye made it five league victories out of five in emphatic fashion. Joseph Hanny had put Sedlescombe ahead.
Rye are two points clear of Bexhill AAC, who didn't play on Saturday, and Sidley United II, who dropped their first points of the campaign after drawing 1-1 away to The JC Tackleway. An Alex Williams goal for Sidley was matched by Toby Payne for seventh-placed Tackleway.
SC Pass+Move Arrows are a further point back in fourth after turning a 3-1 half-time deficit into a 5-3 victory away to fifth-placed South Coast Athletico.
Philip Hatch's brace and one each from Frazer Discala, Joshua Paige and Ross Williams masterminded the Arrows' turnaround after strikes by Nick Gamble, Bradley Owens and an own goal had seemingly put the Chopbacks in charge at the break.
Peche Hill Select climbed to sixth after Joseph Worsley's double and one from Clement Carter secured a 3-0 success at home to Battle Town II.
Northiam 75 II have opened up a three-point advantage in Division Two after the goals of Jordan Turner, Scott Embery and Nathan Clemans clinched a 3-0 win at home to Victoria Baptists.
Little Common II are Northiam's nearest pursuers following their 4-1 victory away to Bexhill Rovers. Jared Lusted (2), Kit Harris-Macrae and Rhys Jones scored for Common.
Previous leaders Westfield II are now six points off the pace in third, albeit with a game in hand on the top two.
The Westies weren't in action at the weekend and have had three points deducted for fielding an ineligible player in their opening-day win at Hooe, who have had three points added to their tally and are off the bottom as a result.
Hooe's scheduled game at home to Sandhurst on Saturday was postponed.
Herstmonceux are up to fourth on the back of an 8-1 success at home to Catsfield. Callan Johnson helped himself to a hat-trick, Reece Mansfield got two, and Charlie Chambers, Ade Fermin and Connor Middleton chipped in with one apiece, while Jacob Jones retaliated.
Ninfield preserved their three-point cushion at the summit of Division Three by virtue of a 5-2 win away to Icklesham Casuals.
Two Gary Bryant goals, and one each from Mark Franks, Joe Rogers and Tom Saunders gave the leaders their fifth league win out of six, despite Thomas Cumber scoring twice for fifth-placed Icklesham.
Second-placed Welcroft Park Rangers kept up the pressure courtesy of a 5-0 victory at home to The JC Tackleway II. Jamie Bundy (2), Bill Coles, Matt Stevens and Vinny Rembridge netted for Welcroft Park, who have a game in hand on Ninfield and a much better goal difference.
Third-placed AFC Hollington triumphed 6-0 away to Bexhill AAC II to remain six points behind the pacesetters having played two fewer matches.
Sovereign Saints II have increased their lead in Division Four to five points in light of their 2-0 win away to South Coast Athletico II.
Max Guy and Travis Parks were on target as Saints extended their winning start to six league matches.
Second-placed Hastings Comets suffered their first league defeat with a 3-0 loss away to Parkfield. The finishing of Craig Fullerton, Oliver Truman and Ryan Rankin did the damage for fourth-placed Parkfield.
Ticehurst are now just a point behind the Comets in third after their 5-0 victory at home to Sedlescombe Rangers development. Danny McGahan registered a hat-trick, while Kieran Johnson and Edward Harwood got the others.
Orington celebrated their first league win - and moved up two places off the foot of the standings - after prevailing 6-4 in a 10-goal thriller away to Battle Town III.
Tristan Hinz netted a hat-trick, while Spencer Sharkey, Tom Smith and Nenad Kolarevic also found the back of the net to get Orington's season up and running.
Westfield III won 11-1 at home to D&S Hastings Youth to preserve their six-point advantage at the top of Division Five.
Reece Johnson led the way with four goals, Jack Harris bagged a brace, and Jack Whiteman, Aaron Cochrane, James Downs, Paul Merifield and Callum Wood also got in on the act. Jamie Pelling claimed the D&S consolation.
Jake Barker scored a hat-trick as second-placed Hampden Park, who have two games in hand on Westfield, pulled off a 4-1 victory at home to Welcroft Park Rangers II. Jake Lewis got Hampden Park's other goal and Shay Stolton replied for Welcroft Park.
Third-placed Herstmonceux II won 3-0 at Burwash to remain level on points with Hampden Park, albeit having played once more.
James McGrath and Tom Frazer-Bates struck four times each as Crowhurst II moved up to fourth by winning 14-0 away to Hastings Comets II.
Adam How (2), Ryan Jinks, Dale Matthews, Harley Millward and Sam Burgess were also on the scoresheet for Crowhurst, who are nine points behind the leaders with three games in hand.
Another full programme of league action, plus a solitary cup tie, is scheduled for this coming Saturday.
Standings (played-points) - Premier Division: Crowhurst 5-15 (+11 goal difference), Bexhill Town 7-14 (+9), Battle Town 6-13 (+17), St Leonards Social 5-13 (+12), Punnetts Town 5-10 (+7), Hawkhurst United 7-7 (-1), Northiam 75 5-6 (-10), Rock-a-Nore 6-3 (-7), Wadhurst United 6-3 (-10), Robertsbridge United 6-0 (-28).
Division 1: Rye Town 5-15 (+12), Bexhill AAC 6-13 (+20), Sidley United II 5-13 (+12), SC Pass+Move Arrows 5-12 (+11), South Coast Athletico 5-7 (0), Peche Hill Select 5-6 (0), The JC Tackleway 5-4 (-2), Battle Town II 6-0 (-23), Sedlescombe Rangers II 6-0 (-30).
Division 2: Northiam 75 II 6-15 (+11), Little Common II 6-12 (+11), Westfield II* 5-9 (+10), Herstmonceux 6-9 (-1), Victoria Baptists 6-7 (-5), Sandhurst 4-6 (+2), Hooe* 4-6 (-6), Catsfield 6-4 (-16), Bexhill Rovers 5-3 (-6). * = points adjusted.
Division 3: Ninfield 6-15 (+7), Welcroft Park Rangers 5-12 (+23), AFC Hollington 4-9 (+19), The JC Tackleway II 5-7 (-5), Icklesham Casuals 5-6 (-10), Mountfield United 5-4 (-6), Bexhill AAC II 6-0 (-28). Peche Hill Select II withdrawn.
Division 4: Sovereign Saints II 6-18 (+24), Hastings Comets 6-13 (+11), Ticehurst 6-12 (+9), Parkfield 6-9 (+2), Sedlescombe Rangers development 6-6 (-9), Orington 4-4 (-3), South Coast Athletico II 6-3 (-7), Battle Town III 6-3 (-27).
Division 5: Westfield III 6-16 (+28), Hampden Park 4-10 (+20), Herstmonceux II 5-10 (+10), Crowhurst II 3-7 (+18), Welcroft Park Rangers II 4-6 (0), Burwash 6-4 (-11), Hastings Comets II 6-4 (-21), D&S Hastings Youth 6-0 (-44). Sedlescombe Rangers IV withdrawn.
Saturday October 23 fixtures (kick-off 3pm unless stated) - Premier Division: Bexhill Town v St Leonards Social, Northiam 75 v Robertsbridge United (1.30pm), Punnetts Town v Crowhurst, Wadhurst United v Rock-a-Nore.
Division 1: Battle Town II v South Coast Athletico, SC Pass+Move Arrows v Rye Town (1.30pm), Sidley United II v Bexhill AAC.
Division 2: Little Common II v Hooe (1.30pm), Sandhurst v Catsfield (4pm), Victoria Baptists v Bexhill Rovers, Westfield II v Northiam 75 II.
Division 3: AFC Hollington v Welcroft Park Rangers, Mountfield United v Bexhill AAC II, The JC Tackleway II v Icklesham Casuals.
Division 4: Hastings Comets v Sovereign Saints II (1.30pm), Orington v Sedlescombe Rangers development (4pm), Parkfield v Battle Town III (1.30pm), Ticehurst v South Coast Athletico II.
Division 5: D&S Hastings Youth v Hastings Comets II (4pm), Hampden Park v Westfield III (4pm), Herstmonceux II v Crowhurst II, Welcroft Park Rangers II v Burwash.
ESFL Graham Ormston Premier Travel Chauffeurs Challenge Cup, 2nd round (2.30pm): Sedlescombe Rangers II v The JC Tackleway.