East Sussex Football League: Full set of fixtures played for first time this season
After several coronavirus-related postponements the previous two weekends, there was a full programme of action involving East Sussex Football League clubs on Saturday.
Some 24 matches were played in all, including the first cup ties of the 2020/21 campaign, on a blustery and unseasonably chilly late September afternoon.
Early Premier Division leaders Rock-a-Nore dropped their first points but are still unbeaten after recovering from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at home to Wadhurst United.
Reece Johnson, Jamie White and Rikki White scored for the Rocks, who now have 10 points from a possible 12, against a Wadhurst side which lies fifth with five points from four games.
The draw extended Rock-a-Nore's advantage to three points because second-placed Hawkhurst United weren't in league action.
Battle Town are up to third after making it two wins out of two with a hard-earned 2-1 victory away to Northiam 75.
Sixth-placed Northiam led for a long time through Joe Maylam's goal before perennial title challengers Battle turned things around in the closing stages.
Another stirring turnaround was produced by Crowhurst, who hit back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at home to St Leonards Social and move up to fourth.
Strikes by Chris Ford, Allan McMinigal and a Sean Lennard penalty masterminded the Crows' comeback after George Farrance and Ben Phipps had put eighth-placed Social two-up.
Robertsbridge United gained their first points at the third attempt courtesy of a 5-2 success at home to Bexhill Town.
A Rhys Kuhler hat-trick, and one each from Curtis Coombes and Chris Phillips did the damage for Robertsbridge, who are up to seventh. Harley Ransom and Jason Cochrane replied for a Town team which is yet to get off the mark.
With the top four sides covered by a solitary point at this early stage, it looks like being a fascinating battle for glory in Division One this term.
Bexhill AAC clung on to top spot despite being in cup action because second-placed Sedlescombe Rangers II lost 2-0 away to South Coast Athletico.
A second-half double from substitute Eduard Czeller ended Sedlescombe's unbeaten start and put Athletico just a point behind them having played a game less.
Battle Town II recorded their first win with a 3-2 victory at home to Rye Town - and moved above their victims to fifth in the process.
Craig Pierce and Liam Sayer got the goals for a Rye side which had two men sent-off.
Peche Hill Select got off the mark for the season by virtue of a 4-1 triumph at home to Sidley United II.
Joe Worsley's brace, and one apiece from Grant Cornelius and Jacob Shelton lifted Peche Hill two places off the bottom, moving above Sidley to boot. David Chasumba nabbed Sidley's consolation.
The four Division Two fixtures produced a whopping 33 goals, with two of the matches ending in 7-2 scorelines.
Little Common II went three points clear at the summit after continuing their red hot start with a 7-2 win at home to Peche Hill Select II.
A Nickolas Kavanagh hat-trick (taking his tally for the season into double figures), Jordan Harris brace, and one each from Attilio Field and Rhys Jones gave Common their fourth victory out of four, and took their goal difference to +21. Kieren Martin netted both goals for eighth-placed Peche Hill.
Second-placed Bexhill Rovers dropped their first points of the campaign following a 5-3 defeat at home to Herstmonceux.
Connor Middleton's hat-trick, plus a goal each from Charlie Shearing and William Hobden, fired Herstmonceux up to third - two points behind their victims. Casey Ham struck twice and Iain Stewart-Pownall once for Rovers.
Westfield II are a point further back in fourth courtesy of a 7-2 success away to Mountfield United.
The goals of Lee Smart (2), Dayne Beaumont, Lee Paine, Warren Pethig and Jack Tiltman earned Westfield their second victory of the term, despite Jordan Brindley and Perry Leddy finding the net for Mountfield.
St Leonards Social II achieved their first points at the second time of asking by winning 4-3 at home to Northiam 75 II.
Bexhill AAC II missed the chance to go level on points with Division Three leaders Sandhurst after losing 2-0 at home to Hastings United Youth.
AAC, who had won their previous two matches, finished with nine men as Jack Still and Jake Dalley struck to earn Hastings their first points after back-to-back losses.
As AAC dropped to fourth, Old Town Lions climbed to second - on goal difference - after coming from 3-2 down to win 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller at home to The JC Tackleway II.
Strikes by Alvin Scott (2), Jamie Crone, Ben Mersh and Will Spice gave the Lions their second victory in three matches, putting them three points behind Sandhurst.
Alfie Jeffery (2) and James Wicks were among the scorers for Tackleway, but it wasn't enough to get them off the mark for the season.
The sole Division Five fixture ended in a 4-2 win for Welcroft Park Rangers II at home to West Hill United II.
Two goals apiece from Harry Osbourne and Jamie Ryan lifted Welcroft Park up to fourth - and within a point of the top two, albeit having played an extra match.
Lewis Barrett notched both goals for West Hill, who head a quartet of teams on three points at the bottom of the table.
The rest of the action came in the league's three knockout competitions.
Division One leaders Bexhill AAC pulled off a very good 2-1 win away to Premier Division side Punnetts Town in round one of the Graham Ormston Premier Travel Challenge Cup.
Ben Packer was among the scorers for AAC, who will visit Robertsbridge United in round two.
Premier Division overcame Division One in the other first-round tie as Hawkhurst United triumphed 4-0 at home to The JC Tackleway.
Goals from Jason Donoghue, Kieran Eland, Scott Penfold and Mark Mitchell earned the Hawks a second-round trip to Rock-a-Nore.
Division Three pacesetters Sandhurst prevailed 3-2 away to Division Two outfit Catsfield in the opening stage of the Wisden Sports Challenge Cup.
James Hsuan, Andrew Turner and James Found were on the scoresheet for Sandhurst, whose reward is a home second-round clash against SC Pass + Move Arrows.
Division Two team Pass + Move received a walkover after scheduled hosts Hampden Park, from Division Three, were unable to raise a side.
Seven first-round games were completed in the Division Four & Five Challenge Cup.
Probably the standout result was a splendid 3-0 victory for Division Five leaders AFC Hollington II at home to Division Four frontrunners Icklesham Casuals.
Tom Mills, Jules Phillips and Tom Whelan were the scorers.
Division Five also got the better of Division Four as Ticehurst prevailed 4-2 at home to Parkfield.
The goals of Edward Harwood (2), Thomas Buckingham and Guy Ballard for Ticehurst eclipsed those of Tiago Constancio and Calum Nolan for Parkfield.
The day's biggest winners were Battle Town III, who triumphed 8-0 away to fellow Division Four team Sedlescombe Rangers development.
Ben Thorpe's hat-trick, two apiece from James McGrath and Daniel Turner, and a Ben Kempner goal made up Battle's tally.
Sovereign Saints II, of Division Four, were also in free-scoring form, winning 7-2 away to Division Five side Wadhurst United II.
Seven different players found the net for Saints, namely Travis Anderson, Nicholas Barden, Alistair Knell, Jake Maynard, David Wisdom, Josh Sheldon and Chris Williams.
Jamie Bundy plundered a hat-trick as Welcroft Park Rangers ran out 5-0 victors in an all-Division Four affair at home to Orington. Chaz Creasey and Kieran Apps also netted.
Another all-Division Four encounter produced a 4-0 victory for Hooe at home to Magham Down. Jack Walker, Grant Wright, Rob Pierce and Shaun Golding were the men on the mark.
Robbie Hodgson's hat-trick secured a 3-2 win for Herstmonceux II at home to Hampden Park u23, whose goals were scored by Paul Weatherby.
The quarter-final line-up is Hooe versus Hastings Comets or West Hill United, Welcroft Park against Herstmonceux II, Sovereign Saints II at home to Ticehurst and AFC Hollington II versus Battle Town III.
League standings - Premier Division (played-points): Rock-a-Nore 4-10, Hawkhurst United 3-7, Battle Town 2-6, Crowhurst 4-6, Wadhurst United 4-5, Northiam 75 3-3, Robertsbridge United 3-3, St Leonards Social 3-3, Punnetts Town 2-3, Bexhill Town 4-0.
Division 1 (played 3 matches unless stated): Bexhill AAC 7pts, Sedlescombe Rangers II (4) 7, The JC Tackleway 6, South Coast Athletico 6, Battle Town II 4, Rye Town 3, Peche Hill Select 3, Sidley United II (4) 2, Victoria Baptists (2) 1.
Division 2 (played-points): Little Common II 4-12, Bexhill Rovers 4-9, Herstmonceux 4-7, Westfield II 4-6, Catsfield 2-4, SC Pass + Move Arrows 2-3, St Leonards Social II 2-3, Peche Hill Select II 3-3, Mountfield United 3-0, Northiam 75 II 4-0.
Division 3 (played 3 matches unless stated): Sandhurst 9pts, Old Town Lions 6, AFC Hollington 6, Bexhill AAC II 6, Hawkhurst United II 3, Hastings United Youth 3, Hampden Park (2) 3, The JC Tackleway II (2) 0, Robertsbridge United II (2) 0.
Division 4 (played 3 matches unless stated): Icklesham Casuals 9pts, Welcroft Park Rangers 6, Sovereign Saints II 5, Hooe 4, Parkfield 4, Magham Down (1) 3, Sedlescombe Rangers development 3, Orington 2, Battle Town III (2) 0, West Hill United (2) 0.
Division 5 (played 3 matches unless stated): AFC Hollington II 7pts, Wadhurst United II 7, Hastings Comets 6, Welcroft Park Rangers II (4) 6, West Hill United II (4) 3, Ticehurst 3, Herstmonceux II 3, Hampden Park u23 3.
Saturday October 3 fixtures (kick-off 3pm unless stated) - Premier Division: Rock-a-Nore v Battle Town (1.30pm); Crowhurst v Robertsbridge United; Punnetts Town v Northiam 75; St Leonards Social v Hawkhurst United (3.30pm); Wadhurst United v Bexhill Town (3.30pm).
Division 1: Battle Town II v The JC Tackleway (1.30pm); South Coast Athletico v Victoria Baptists (2pm); Bexhill AAC v Sedlescombe Rangers II; Sidley United II v Rye Town.
Division 2: Catsfield v Bexhill Rovers; Herstmonceux v SC Pass + Move Arrows; Northiam 75 II v Mountfield United; Westfield II v Peche Hill Select II; Little Common II v St Leonards Social II (4pm).
Division 3: Hampden Park v AFC Hollington (1.30pm); Hawkhurst United II v Hastings United Youth; Robertsbridge United II v The JC Tackleway II; Sandhurst v Old Town Lions.
Division 4: Magham Down v Orington; Battle Town III v Hooe (3.30pm); Parkfield v Sedlescombe Rangers development (3.30pm).
Division 5: Wadhurst United II v Ticehurst (1.30pm); West Hill United II v AFC Hollington II (1.30pm); Welcroft Park Rangers II v Hampden Park u23; Hastings Comets v Herstmonceux II (3.30pm).
Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30pm): Peche Hill Select v AFC Ringmer II; Sovereign Saints II v Worthing Town II; Welcroft Park Rangers v Barnham Trojans.