Duo set early pace in top flight

Action from the East Sussex Football League Premier Division game between Bexhill AAC and Bexhill Town. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Action from the East Sussex Football League Premier Division game between Bexhill AAC and Bexhill Town. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Two teams have six points at the top of the East Sussex Football League Premier Division after matchday two of the new season.

Hawkhurst United are setting the early pace on goal difference following their 3-2 victory away to a Northiam 75 side which produced the stand-out result of the opening weekend by defeating Sidley United 4-1. Jon James scored both of Northiam’s goals.

Bexhill AAC and Bexhill Town battle it out at Sidley Recreation Ground.

Bexhill AAC and Bexhill Town battle it out at Sidley Recreation Ground.

Battle Baptists have also won two out of two, although both victories were by a one-goal margin and they’ve had to come from behind in both.

The latest was a 2-1 success away to Robertsbridge United thanks to the finishing of Josh Pickering and Dale Vinall. Paul Barnes netted for the Bridge earlier in the second half.

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Bexhill AAC and Bexhill Town tussle for possession.

Bexhill AAC and Bexhill Town tussle for possession.

Performance of the day in the top flight, however, came from Sedlescombe Rangers, who pulled off a stunning 9-1 win away to St Leonards Social.

Philip Hatch netted four of Sedlescombe’s goals, Luke Graham Davies and Tom Cusden scored two each, and there was one for Matthew Shaw. Grant Cornelius netted Social’s consolation.

Sidley United hit straight back from their opening day defeat by coming from behind from win 4-1 at home to Rye Town in a mirror image of their fortunes seven days previously.

Rye took the lead in their opening game of the campaign through a penalty by Richard ‘Alfie’ Weller, but Lee Carey brought Sidley level by half time. Two Gary Hempe penalties and an Ashley Elphick lob in the second period won it for Sidley.

Bexhill Town hot shot Doni Dovla pressurises a Bexhill AAC defender.

Bexhill Town hot shot Doni Dovla pressurises a Bexhill AAC defender.

Bexhill Town began their season with a 3-2 local derby win away to a Bexhill AAC side still seeking its first point.

Andy Atkin put AAC ahead only for Doni Dovla to equalise before the break. Dovla struck twice more after half time to complete his hat-trick before Darren Witham scrambled one back for AAC towards the end.

Punnetts Town are blazing an early trail in Division One with six points from two games and a +10 goal difference.

Their latest success was a 4-1 win at home to Bexhill United II, whose consolation goal was scored by Ben Barton.

The JC Tackleway have four points from two games after drawing 2-2 at home to a Crowhurst side playing its first match since being relegated from the Premier Division.

The goals of Toby Shaw and Kale Williams for Tackleway were cancelled out by a Jack Austen double for Crowhurst.

Wadhurst United got their campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 triumph away to Hollington United II, who have lost their first two fixtures. David Jackson and Matt Harman were the scorers.

After both teams lost on the opening day, Mountfield United and Herstmonceux picked up their first point by drawing 1-1 with each other at Riverhall. Sean Smith struck for Mountfield and Liam Nulty for Herstmonceux.

No team in Division Two has taken six points from its first two matches, but no less than five sides have picked up four points.

Battle Baptists II head the fledgling table on goal difference following a remarkable 9-0 win away to Robertsbridge United II, who are the only team in the division yet to gain a point.

Oliver Norris netted a hat-trick, Adam How and Ben Hollingsworth struck twice each, and the tally was completed by one each for Anthony Andrews and Dale Matthews.

Catsfield are second on the back of a 4-2 success at home to Wittersham.

Ben Newman (2), William Thwaites and Jacob Jones notched for Catsfield, while George Stoodley Randall and Antony Bremner were on the scoresheet for Wittersham.

Sedlescombe Rangers II are third after goals from Billy-Jo Driver and Wesley Irving gave them a 2-0 victory away to St Leonards Social II.

Rock-a-Nore are also on four points following a 5-4 victory at home to Little Common II in one of the games of the day.

Reece Johnson scored all five of the Rocks’ goals, which meant the strikes of Ashley Carey, Alan Louange, Scott Carey and Niall MacDonald weren’t quite enough for Common.

So too are Peche Hill Select, who won 2-1 at home to The JC Tackleway II via the finishing of Jamie White and Kieran Martin. Elliot Milham notched for Tackleway.

Two teams boast six points in Division Three.

Bexhill Rovers are the highest scorers of anybody in all six divisions so far after making it 18 goals in two games with a 12-1 win at home to Pebsham Sibex.

Iain Stuart Powell grabbed four of the goals, Mark Phillips, Luke Alais and Rob Nunes scored two each, and there was one apiece for Brad Freeman and Nicholas Penfold. Ben Mersh grabbed Sibex’s consolation.

Bexhill Broncos are just behind Rovers on goal difference following their 3-2 success away to fellow newly-promoted side South Coast Athletico.

Matthew Stephens plundered a hat-trick for the second successive game to get the Broncos over the line, despite goals from Dom McGurk and Bradley Owens for Athletico.

Bexhill AAC II are third with four points after a Charlie Morgan brace earned them a 2-1 win at home to Sandhurst, whose goal was scored by Craig Walsh.

Hawkhurst United II also have four points following a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Orington, despite having a player sent-off. Owen Williams got the all-important goal.

Victoria Baptists collected their first points with a 4-1 win at home to a Magham Down side which is yet to get off the mark. Gary Wren scored for Magham.

Cranbrook Town, Parkfield and Sovereign Saints II are level on six points at the summit of Division Four.

Cranbrook have the edge on goal difference after strikes by Wayne Beaney (2), Matthew Cooper, Mathew Sanders and Callum Hatcher fired them to a 5-2 win at home to Sedlescombe Rangers III.

Parkfield pulled off a narrow 3-2 success away to Battle Baptists III, who have yet to open their account despite the goals of James Crane and Adam Thompsett.

Sovereign Saints won 4-1 at home to West Hill United courtesy of strikes by Connor Edwards (2), Todd Seavers and Jordon Funnell. Alex Southall netted for West Hill.

Hampden Park picked up their first points in some style with a 11-1 victory at home to still pointless Ticehurst.

Northiam 75 II also got off the mark with a 3-2 win away to Icklesham Casuals II. The goals of Fin Thompson, Joe Millar and Tyler Sargent won it for Northiam.

AFC Hollington continued their flying start in Division Five with an 8-0 win at home to Herstmonceux II.

Kelvin Lowes bagged a hat-trick, Mark Blanche struck twice, and there was one each for William Lelliott, Jordan Miller and Steven Payne.

As well as scoring 13 goals so far, Hollington are the only team in all six divisions to have kept two clean sheets.

Burwash also boast six points after a Nick Kavanagh hat-trick propelled them to a 4-2 triumph at home to Hampden Park II. Lee Mansfield got the other Burwash goal.

Little Common III are on four points following a 2-2 draw at home to Hooe. Strikes by Callum Holt Burgess and Darren Burgess earned league new boys Hooe their first point.