Five-star Battle surge three points clear
Battle Baptists have moved three points clear at the top of the East Sussex Football League Premier Division.
Last season’s runners-up made it four league wins out of four with a 5-0 victory away to Bexhill AAC on Saturday, four of the goals coming during the first half.
Josh Pickering bagged a brace, and there was one apiece for Corey Wheeler - who opened the scoring with a spectacular volley - Adam Staplehurst and Oliver Norris.
See also: * Top flight trio boast maximum points* Hastings see off Horsham to consolidate second place* Four-star Hollington march on at the topSecond-placed Hawkhurst United saw their 100 percent record ended by a 5-3 defeat away to a Sidley United side which has made an up-and-down start.
A Casey Ham free kick and a Leon Fisher strike put Hawkhurst two-up, but Gary Hempe pulled one back from the penalty spot in first half added time and Sidley took charge in the second period with goals from Danny Ellis, Josh Elliott-Noye, Mark Funnell and Louis Walker.
Sedlescombe Rangers are up to third following a 7-3 victory away to Robertsbridge United - their second big win of the campaign having triumphed 9-1 a fortnight previously.
Mike Booth scored a hat-trick, Philip Hatch struck twice, and one each from Ryan Edwards and Tom Cusden completed Sedlescombe’s tally. Ben Hardy (2) and Charlie Burns replied for Robertsbridge.
Northiam 75 are the the last of four teams level on six points after Scott Embery’s double gave them a 2-1 win at home to bottom side St Leonards Social.
The JC Tackleway went top of Division One after making it 10 points from a possible 12 with a 5-0 win at home to Mountfield United. Toby Payne netted a hat-trick, and one apiece from Brandon Miah and Andrew Olorenshaw.
Tackleway are a point clear of second-placed Punnetts Town and third-placed Wadhurst United, albeit having played a game more than both.
While Punnetts were without a fixture, Wadhurst made it nine points from their three games with a 6-1 success at home to Herstmonceux.
Ryan Bateman (2), Harry Bateman, John Penny, Kieran Tincombe and Oliver Vidler were on target for Wadhurst, while Thomas Budd netted Herstmonceux’s consolation.
Icklesham Casuals are fourth on the back of a 4-2 success at home to fifth-placed Bexhill United II, whose goals were scored by Dominic Hayles and Ben Barton.
Hollington United II picked up their first point of the campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to a Crowhurst outfit which has drawn two of its first three contests. Luke Woodley’s goal for Hollington was matched by Aaron Jamieson for Crowhurst.
St Leonards Social II are a point clear at the Division Two summit after making it three wins out of four with a 4-2 Friday night victory away to Little Common II.
Stuart Collier and Niall MacDonald struck for a Common side still seeking its first victory of the new term.
Second-placed Peche Hill Select missed the chance to go back above Social, but did at least continue their unbeaten start with a 1-1 draw away to Catsfield. Kieran Martin netted for Peche Hill.
Third-placed Sedlescombe Rangers II - the division’s highest scorers - head a group of four teams on seven points following a 9-0 success away to Robertsbridge United II.
Jake Warner netted a hat-trick, Liam Cobley bagged a brace, and one apiece from Jon-Jo Wright, George Driver, Marc Barden and Jake Thomas completed the rout.
Wittersham prevailed by a goal to nil at home to The JC Tackleway II.
Bexhill Rovers and Bexhill Broncos remain neck-and-neck at the top of Division Three, both with the full house of 12 points from four games.
Rovers lead the way courtesy of a remarkable +35 goal difference, which was boosted by an 11-0 triumph at home to previously unbeaten Hawkhurst United II - the biggest victory of anyone across the league’s six divisions last weekend.
Broncos maintained their 100 percent record via a 3-2 triumph away to Magham Down. The goals of Matthew Stephens, Toby Pearce and Jack Brockhurst for Broncos were just enough to eclipse Valentino Cheang’s double for Magham.
South Coast Athletico are three points behind the lead duo in third on the back of an entertaining 6-4 win away to Victoria Baptists. Thomas MacDonald netted a hat-trick for Victoria, but still ended up on the losing side.
Bexhill AAC II and Pebsham Sibex contested the weekend’s only goalless draw.
Three teams are level on nine points at the Division Four summit.
Hampden Park lead the way on goal difference following a 5-0 win at home to bottom team Icklesham Casuals II.
Jake Barker scored a hat-trick, and Cameron Stevens-Grant and Chris Puttick chipped in with one apiece for Hampden Park, who are comfortably the division’s highest scorers.
Cranbrook Town dropped to second as they were in cup action and therefore have a game in hand.
Northiam 75 II complete the lead trio after winning 3-2 at home to Ticehurst via Joe Millar’s double and one from Adam Page. Colin Eade’s brace wasn’t quite enough for second-bottom Ticehurst.
Behind the top three, the next four teams are all on six points.
Sedlescombe Rangers III head that quartet following a 6-2 success at home to Parkfield. Reece Mitchell plundered a hat-trick, and Gary Underhill, Jaz Hargreaves and Edward Manford Keen also netted for Sedlescombe, while Lawrance Odulawa and Reece Lowdell replied for Parkfield.
An Adam Thompsett hat-trick helped Battle Baptists III pick up their first points of the season via a good 4-3 victory at home to West Hill United. Elliot Waller claimed Battle’s other goal against a West Hill outfit which netted through Jack Harris (2) and Conor Loake.
Little Common III ran out 5-1 winners at home to AFC Hollington in the clash of Division Five’s top two to go four points clear of their victims, having played an extra match.
Daniel Estherby struck twice, and Sam Slayford, Connor Jackson and Jordan Harris were on the scoresheet for Common, who are now the only remaining unbeaten side in the bottom division.
Welcroft Park Rangers are third after a Lee Taylor hat-trick helped fire them to a 4-1 victory at home to fellow league newcomers Hooe. Darren Griffiths netted Hooe’s consolation.
Herstmonceux II moved off the bottom after winning 5-2 at home to Hampden Park II, who replaced them at the foot of the standings.
Curtis Eyres (2), Ricky Betsworth, Mike King and Daniel Russell struck for Herstmonceux, and Aaron French and Mitchell Coleman replied for Park.
The first cup games of the season took place last weekend - one in each of the league’s three knockout competitions.
Rye Town won 1-0 away to fellow Premier Division side Bexhill Town in round one of the Premier Travel Chauffeurs Challenge Cup. A Charlie Stevens goal was enough for Rye to end Bexhill’s two-match winning start to the season.
Battle Baptists II, who are undefeated so far in Division Two, prevailed 6-2 away to Orington, who are yet to win in Division Three, in round one of the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup.
Greg Bennett (2), Dale Matthews, Erik Chapman, Gary Bryant and George Harris were on target for Battle against an Orington team which responded via a James McGrath double.
Sovereign Saints II won 5-3 at home to Cranbrook Town in a Coopers Construction Challenge Cup first round tie between two Division Four outfits.