Battle Town beat Crowhurst in clash at the top, Bexhill AAC open up gap at the summit, Crowhurst II hit SIXTEEN
Battle Town defeated Crowhurst in the crunch clash between the East Sussex Football League's top two on Saturday.
Dean Boyd and Trystan Mayhew were among the scorers as Battle pulled off a 3-0 win away to a Crowhurst side which finished its first league loss of the season with 10 men.
Battle have replaced Crowhurst at the top of the Premier Division table as a result, albeit only by the slender margin of goal difference, with both teams having won nine, drawn one and lost one of their 11 league matches to date.
Elsewhere on the league's final matchday of 2021, St Leonards Social moved up to third courtesy of a 1-0 victory away to Wadhurst United. Damien March scored the only goal.
Bexhill Town dropped to fourth - a point behind Social with a game in hand - after being held to a 4-4 draw in an eight-goal thriller away to Rock-a-Nore.
Max Cooper (2), Olwethu Peterson and Charlie Lovell were on target for Bexhill against an eighth-placed Rocks outfit which is now four points above the bottom two.
Fifth-placed Punnetts Town ended the calendar year in style with an 8-0 success at home to Robertsbridge United, leaving them just two points outside the top three.
Connor Townsend and Nick Moore bagged two goals apiece, and there was one each for Craig Norman, Casey Ham, Stevie Worsell and Callum Holles.
Hawkhurst United are a single point adrift of sixth-placed Northiam 75 after beating them 6-0 at King George V Playing Field, avenging a 3-1 defeat to the same opponents four weeks earlier.
Bexhill AAC opened up a three-point cushion at the top of Division One after they won and second-placed Rye Town could only draw.
AAC made it five successive league wins, during which time they've netted 24 goals, with a 4-1 victory at home to Sedlescombe Rangers II. Zak Boutwood got the Sedlescombe goal.
Rye contested a 1-1 draw at home to South Coast Athletico, meaning they've won just one of their last four league fixtures after winning all of their previous six. Rob Levett scored for Rye and Nathan Biddiss found the net for sixth-placed Athletico.
Third-placed Sidley United II went level on points with Rye thanks to a 4-1 success at home to Peche Hill Select.
Ashley Elphick (2), Harley Ransom and Alex Williams were on the scoresheet as the Blues triumphed for the fourth game running in all competitions.
The match between Battle Town II and The JC Tackleway was postponed.
Westfield II established a two-point advantage at the summit of Division Two after they won and their two title rivals drew with each other.
Strikes by Taylor Beale and Jacob Shelton earned Westfield a 2-0 victory at home to Victoria Baptists - their fourth win on the spin.
The second-versus-third encounter ended all-square as Northiam 75 II and Little Common II played out a 1-1 draw.
An Oscar Garcia-Cruz goal for Northiam was matched by Sebastian Pena's strike for Common, who are a point behind their opponents and three adrift of Westfield with a game in hand on both.
Sandhurst shot up three positions to fourth in a closely-bunched middle part of the table on the back of a 5-3 victory at home to Bexhill Rovers.
James Found (2), Jon Bilsby, Tomas Budd and James Hsuan scored for a Sandhurst side which has picked up seven points from the last nine available.
Catsfield and Herstmonceux contested a 2-2 draw, meaning they are still separated by just a point in fifth and sixth respectively. Reece Davey and Connor Middleton struck for Herstmonceux.
Mountfield United ran out 3-1 winners away to Icklesham Casuals in the day's only Division Three fixture.
A Jamie O'Mahoney goal for Icklesham wasn't enough to prevent Mountfield leapfrogging them into the top four.
Sovereign Saints II climbed from third to first as the ever-changing Division Four title race took yet another twist, with the top three now level on points.
Saints, who have played a match fewer than the other clubs in the title picture, hit the front by dint of a 3-1 win at home to Hastings Comets.
Travis Anderson, Alex Wheatley and Chris Williams scored for Saints, while Brandon Smith netted for a Comets outfit which started the day second and ended it two points off the pace in fourth.
Previous pacesetters Ticehurst are now second after suffering a 6-2 reverse away to fifth-placed Orington, despite Toby Tapp scoring twice.
Strikes by Spencer Sharkey (2), Thomas Blything, Tristan Hinz, James Blything and Scott Brunton did the damage for Orington, who have won three of their last four outings.
Parkfield moved up to third without even kicking a ball after receiving a walkover away to South Coast Athletico II.
Sedlescombe Rangers Development rose above Battle Town III to sixth after beating them 3-0 away from home. Kieron Booker, Chris Ford and Ben Sebbage found the net.
The third-versus-first clash in Division Five between Hampden Park and Westfield III was postponed - and second-placed Crowhurst II took full advantage.
The Crows won 16-1 away to D&S Hastings Youth to leave themselves just three points adrift of Westfield with three games in hand.
Adam How (5), Terry Robinson (4), Harley Millward (3), Harry Blunden (2), Ryan Jinks and Jordan Miller notched for unbeaten Crowhurst, whose goal difference now stands at a remarkable +61 after just nine matches.
Welcroft Park Rangers II also hit double figures, running out 10-0 winners away to Hastings Comets II to move into the top five.
The finishing of Alan Pope (3), Mark Hedges (2), Ryan Knowles, Chris Neale, Shay Stolton, Matthew Williams and Charles Fairweather made it a splendid end to 2021 for Welcroft Park.
Fourth-placed Herstmonceux II had their contest at home to Burwash postponed.
Hampden Park, incidentally, have had a point deducted for fielding an ineligible player in the drawn reverse fixture against Westfield, who have had two points added to their tally.
SUSSEX BLUEFIN JUNIOR CHALLENGE CUP
Two rescheduled Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup third-round ties also took place on Saturday - and both ended in defeat for the East Sussex League's representatives.
Division Three high-flyers Welcroft Park Rangers lost 2-0 away to Optimus, while Division One outfit SC Pass+Move Arrows were edged out 5-4 in a thriller at home to Broadwater Athletic.
The league so far has two clubs through to the last 16 - The JC Tackleway and Victoria Baptists - and at least one more will join them because Rye Town and Bexhill Rovers will face each other in round three.
The players can now put their feet up for the Christmas and New Year weekends as the league takes its festive break, with the action scheduled to resume on Saturday January 8.
Standings (played-points) - Premier Division: Battle Town 11-28 (+29 goal difference), Crowhurst 11-28 (+26), St Leonards Social 12-22 (+5), Bexhill Town 11-21 (+16), Punnetts Town 12-20 (+18), Northiam 75 12-14 (-25), Hawkhurst United 13-13 (-2), Rock-a-Nore 11-9 (-10), Wadhurst United 12-5 (-22), Robertsbridge United 9-3 (-35).
Division 1: Bexhill AAC 10-25 (+32), Rye Town 10-22 (+15), Sidley United II 10-22 (+13), The JC Tackleway 9-16 (+9), SC Pass+Move Arrows 6-12 (+8), South Coast Athletico 9-11 (-6), Peche Hill Select 8-7 (-11), Battle Town II 10-3 (-25), Sedlescombe Rangers II 10-1 (-35).
Division 2: Westfield II* 12-25 (+20), Northiam 75 II 12-23 (+17), Little Common II 11-22 (+17), Sandhurst 11-15 (+4), Catsfield 13-15 (-11), Herstmonceux 12-14 (-12), Hooe* 10-13 (-12), Victoria Baptists 11-11 (-8), Bexhill Rovers 10-7 (-15). * = points adjusted.
Division 3: Ninfield 10-24 (+14), AFC Hollington 8-21 (+36), Welcroft Park Rangers 9-21 (+31), Icklesham Casuals 9-12 (-15), Mountfield United 9-10 (-12), The JC Tackleway II 11-10 (-12), Bexhill AAC II 10-0 (-42). Peche Hill Select II withdrawn.
Division 4: Sovereign Saints II 11-24 (+27), Ticehurst 12-24 (+12), Parkfield 12-24 (+10), Hastings Comets 12-22 (+17), Orington 11-16 (+8), Sedlescombe Rangers Development 13-12 (-35), Battle Town III 11-9 (-31), South Coast Athletico II 10-6 (-8).
Division 5: Westfield III* 12-28 (+44), Crowhurst II 9-25 (+61), Hampden Park* 8-19 (+36), Herstmonceux II 9-19 (+17), Welcroft Park Rangers II 11-15 (+5), Burwash 12-13 (-11), Hastings Comets II 12-7 (-53), D&S Hastings Youth 13-0 (-99). Sedlescombe Rangers IV withdrawn. * = points adjusted.