Hollington and Sidley on the march in county competition
TWO Macron East Sussex Football League teams progressed to round three of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Premier Division leaders Hollington United made the long trip across the county to West Sussex Football League Division One South top dogs Stedham United thoroughly worthwhile with a 5-1 victory.
Hollington will again be on the road in the next round as they travel to Steyning Town reserves.
Sidley United also went through courtesy of a 1-0 victory at home to Southern Combination League Reserve Section side St Francis Rangers II. Adam Day scored the all-important goal.
Two East Sussex League top flight clubs were beaten in round two.
Crowhurst lost 6-2 at home to the aforementioned Steyning, despite goals from Gary Croft and Jordan Turner.
Ore Athletic went down 4-2 away to Mid Sussex Football League Championship side Burgess Hill Albion. Kale Williams and Andrew Dalhouse notched for Ore.
As for the league itself, the clash between second-placed Battle Baptists and third-placed Rye Town in the Premier Division ended in a 1-1 draw. Trystan Mayhew gave Battle a 15th minute lead only for Richard Weller to equalise four minutes later.
The result meant the end of Rye’s three-match winning start in the league, but they remain unbeaten.
Elsewhere in the top flight, a Reece Johnson double gave fourth-placed St Leonards Social a 2-1 win at home to Sedlescombe Rangers. Matthew Shaw scored for a Sedlescombe side beaten 2-1 for the fourth time already this season.
Robertsbridge United moved up to eighth on the back of a 3-1 success at home to Bexhill Town. Guy Ballard (2) and Jethro Warren were on target for the Bridge, who trailed to an Elliott Guest goal at half time.
Division One leaders Hastings Rangers saw their five-match winning start to the league campaign ended by a surprise 1-0 defeat away to bottom-of-the-table Herstmonceux.
An Artur Mendes goal gave Herstmonceux their first league win of the season and brought them level on points with second-bottom Little Common II, who were unable to raise a side for their home game against The JC Tackleway.
Second-placed Bexhill AAC moved level on points with Hastings Rangers - and only one goal behind them on goal difference - following a last gasp 3-2 triumph away to Wadhurst United.
Strikes by Oliver Vidler and Ryan Bateman put Wadhurst 2-1 up at half time, but despite having a man sent-off, AAC snatched the points thanks to Andy Atkin’s added time winner. Darren Witham and Lewis Finch scored their first two goals.
Third-placed Northiam 75 are only two points behind the top two with a game in hand on both. They preserved their unbeaten record with a 4-0 win away to Rock-a-Nore.
Mountfield United scored a late equaliser to draw 2-2 at home to Westfield II. Goals from Liam Cobley and Alan Johnson for Westfield had turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.
The top two in Division Two went marching on with convincing victories.
Icklesham Casuals consolidated top spot with a 7-0 victory away to Peche Hill Select.
Second-placed Sovereign Saints remain two points behind Icklesham having played a game less following their 5-1 win away to Bexhill Rovers. The prolific Philip Broom netted a hat-trick, and Saints’ tally was completed by one apiece from Sam Trumble and George Sambrook.
Hollington United II moved up three places to fourth by dint of a 4-2 success at home to Battle Baptists II, for whom Matthew Lee and Aaron Jamieson found the net. Kelvin Lowes, Ross Langton, Graham Stovell and Rhys Warren were Hollington’s heroes.
Mayfield rose two places to sixth thanks to a 1-0 win at home to bottom side Wittersham. Callum Matthews grabbed the only goal.
With previous Division Three leaders Punnetts Town in cup action, Sedlescombe Rangers II seized their chance to go top of the table with a 6-2 win at home to Victoria Baptists.
Jamie Smith (2), Liam Baker (2), Kye Phillips and Gary Underhill netted for Sedlescombe, who are a point clear of Punnetts having played two more matches.
Catsfield jumped above Sandhurst into third place after beating them 4-1 away from home. William Mantle grabbed Sandhurst’s consolation.
Magham Down and The JC Tackleway II both recorded their second draws of the season as their game finished 2-2.
The top two in Division Four went head-to-head and Orington moved to the summit by winning 2-1 at home to second-placed Bexhill AAC II.
Goals from Dale Matthews and Adam How gave Orington their fifth win out of six and put them two points clear of AAC with a game in hand. Dominic Sinden replied.
Third-placed Bexhill Broncos kept in touch with a 1-0 success away to Sovereign Saints II.
Fourth-placed South Coast Athletico also won, 4-1 at home to Parkfield. Lee Finnigan bagged a brace, and Connor Easton and Callum Homewood got the others for Athletico.
Cranbrook Town climbed into the top half by virtue of a 3-1 win away to Burwash, who remain bottom in spite of Russell Fyfe’s goal.
All of the top four in Division Five picked up three points on Saturday.
Top dogs Hampden Park made it 19 points from a possible 21 by winning 4-1 away to Northiam 75 II. Ashley Puttick (2), William Coles and Eddie Dunn scored for the leaders, while Ryan Kayne hit the net for Northiam.
Second-placed Sedlescombe Rangers III stayed a point behind with a game in hand following a 1-0 success away to Battle Baptists III. A solitary Thomas Ellis goal gave Sedlescombe their sixth league victory out of six.
Third-placed Robertsbridge United II continued their good form with a 2-0 win away to West Hill United II. Paul Rockett and Joe Lyne scored in either half.
Herstmonceux II prevailed 2-1 away to Beckley Rangers to consolidate fourth spot. Rhys Piggott netted for Beckley.
Icklesham Casuals II jumped up three places to seventh via a 4-2 win at home to AFC Hollington.
Also on Saturday, there were four first round ties in the Robertsbridge Charity Junior Cup.
Probably the most eye-catching result was a terrific 5-1 win for Division Four team West Hill United away to Division Three side Ticehurst.
Matthew Wheeler netted a hat-trick and Daniel Wilkes bagged a brace for West Hill, while Cameron Duncan scored for Ticehurst.
The other three games went to form. Division Three high-flyers Punnetts Town triumphed 6-1 at home to Division Four outfit Ninfield VFC.
Bexhill United II, who are third in Division Two, won 4-1 away to a Hawkhurst United II team sitting bottom of Division Three.
St Leonards Social II, of Division Two, were pushed all the way by Division Three side Pebsham Sibex before clinching a 3-2 victory. Goals from Ashley McCann (2) and Anthony Atkin enabled Social to edge through, despite a Nick Gamble double for Sibex.