Tremendous turnaround in cup final

Wadhurst United on the ball during their Hastings & District FA Junior Cup final victory over Bexhill Rovers. Picture by Simon Newstead
Wadhurst United on the ball during their Hastings & District FA Junior Cup final victory over Bexhill Rovers. Picture by Simon Newstead

Wadhurst United produced a tremendous turnaround to win the first Hastings & District FA cup final of the 2018/19 season.

The Division One title hopefuls came from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 against Division Three champions Bexhill Rovers in the Junior Cup decider on Monday night.

A quickfire double from Iain Stuart Powell and Aaron Cochrane put Bexhill two-up at The Pilot Field, home of Hastings United FC.

See also: * Hastings club just misses out on county cup glory
* Brilliant Battle reach national cup final
* Hollington United’s top-of-the-table clash ends all-square
* Bexhill United sign ex-Eastbourne Borough ace

James Mitchell pulled one back for Wadhurst before half time, and second half strikes by David Jackson and Kieran Timble swung the game their way. Rovers had a penalty saved when the score was 2-2.

As for Saturday’s action, Premier Division high-flyers Battle Baptists reached the National Christian Cup final courtesy of a 2-1 win away to Bankhall Mission in Liverpool.

An Adam Staplehurst brace put Battle through to the final for the second time in three seasons. They will face another club from Liverpool on a date and at a venue to be announced.

Battle’s two Premier Division title rivals were both in league action and both picked up victories to remain level on points with a game to go.

Bexhill Town went top on the back of a 3-0 victory away to fifth-placed Robertsbridge United. Andy Atkin struck twice and Toby Clifford also netted.

Sidley United are four goals behind Bexhill on goal difference after winning 2-1 away to Sedlescombe Rangers in the battle of the form sides. Lee Carey’s double put Sidley two-up before Dom Bristow pulled one back for Sedlescombe right at the end.

Rye Town made sure of a top six finish by winning 3-1 away to Northiam 75. Strikes by Sam Henham, Tom Barlow and Luke Willis put Rye three-up before James Fielding netted a consolation for Northiam.

Division One leaders Punnetts Town completed their league programme with a 4-0 win away to fourth-placed The JC Tackleway. Nicholas Moore netted twice, and there was a goal each for Jack Divall and Tom Goodey.

Second-placed Wadhurst are 10 points behind Punnetts with four games to go after triumphing 3-1 away to Herstmonceux.

An Oliver Vidler double and one from Harry Bateman gave Wadhurst the points against a Herstmonceux side which replied through Rory Collins.

Hollington United II received a walkover after scheduled visitors Bexhill United II were unable to field a team.

Rock-a-Nore boosted their Division Two title hopes with a 4-2 win away to Sedlescombe Rangers II.

Reece Johnson and Ryan Read struck twice each for third-placed Rock-a-Nore, who are now just three points behind second-placed Battle Baptists II with two games in hand and four back of already-finished leaders St Leonards Social II having played three fewer matches.

Battle dropped points for the second game running as they drew 0-0 at home to fifth-placed Peche Hill Select.

The final fixture of the Division Three season ended in a 5-0 win for Hawkhurst United II at home to champions Bexhill Rovers.

Goals from Callum Hickey, Daniel McGahan, Gregory Daniel, Bradley Lyne and Samuel Hunt earned Hawkhurst a victory which moved them up to fourth.

Cranbrook Town secured the runners-up spot in Division Four following a 3-3 draw away to West Hill United. Tyler Smith (2) and James Walker got the West Hill goals.

Northiam 75 II jumped above Sovereign Saints II into third place after beating them 2-1 away from home. Hayden Reed and Tyler Sargent struck for Northiam, while Chris Williams was on target for Saints.

Little Common III clinched the Division Five title by dint of a 6-0 success at home to third-placed Welcroft Park Rangers.

Two goals each from Attilio Field, Sam Slayford and Connor Jackson enabled Common to pip AFC Hollington to top spot by just five goals on goal difference.

There were also five matches in the ESFL Supplementary Cup Competition.

Magham Down hammered Burwash 10-1 in group A thanks to an Alex Burton hat-trick, two goals each from Valentino Cheang and Steven Cherryman, and one apiece by Shay Stolton and Jeremy Hover.

Crowhurst prevailed 3-2 away to Sandhurst in group B via the finishing of Jack Austen (2) and Karl Tomlin. Oliver Bryan-Kerr and Jason Baldock were on the scoresheet for Sandhurst.

In group C, Parkfield won 3-0 at home to Sedlescombe Rangers III courtesy of goals from Mark Allen, Matt Holland and Fabio Da Silva Oliveira.

And Herstmonceux II triumphed 3-1 away to Ticehurst. Lewis Colegate, Dennis Donegan and David Lee scored for Herstmonceux, while Darren Poole retaliated.

Battle Baptists III recorded a very good 1-0 win at home to higher grade Mountfield United in group D. Matthew Ward got the only goal.