ANDY Atkin smashed a hat-trick as Rye United ran out 4-1 winners against Lingfield at The Salts on Saturday.
The club’s big summer signing took his goal tally to six in four games with an expertly-converted treble against a Lingfield side which finished with 10 men.
Atkin opened his account on 11 minutes with a superb turn and drilled finish after Anthony Storey had knocked a free kick into his feet.
Rye should have extended their lead but Matt Maclean twice failed to connect properly, the second from a four on one break.
Lingfield equalised just past the hour mark when loose marking at a corner allowed Jamie Lawrence to power home a free header.
This Sussex County League Division One contest had been simmering pretty much from the word go and not long after Lingfield levelled players got involved in a spot of pushing and shoving right in front of the dugouts.
Rye kept their cool to take a lead into the break courtesy of Maclean’s close range finish after Atkin’s initial effort - following good work by Sam Adams - had been saved.
Atkin claimed his second early in the second half after Shaun Loft and Adams had both seen shots blocked.
The visitors were hampered even further with the sending off of defender Freddie Fleming for two yellow cards before Atkin completed his hat-trick with a fine header 20 minutes from time.
There was also a surprise late appearance by Scott Ramsay who was believed to be taking some time out from the game.
Rye: Jones; L. Woodley, Loft, Hope, Kelly; Franklin, Storey, Adams, Maclean, J. Woodley (Gould 69); Atkin (Ramsay 78). Subs not used: Gall, Mole, Willis.