FOOTBALL: County League round-up (April 22)

STORRINGTON Football Club were in no mood to offer County League Division 2 strugglers Steyning Town and Midhurst any sign of a helping hand this week.

Swans gave Midhurst a 4-0 thumping on Tuesday, after a 3-1 humbling of local rivals and relegation battlers Steyning on Saturday.

A Richard Ayres hat-trick and Kristian Harding goal wrapped up the score away at Division 2 bottom club Midhurst.

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Swans boss Ricky Hamilton said: "The result reflected our dominance and we could have doubled that if we'd taken our chances. But we're happy with the win and the clean sheet.

"It was our sixth win from seven games, which I'm delighted with, and we need to keep going and finish as high as we can."

James Davis crossed for Ayres to hit his first on four minutes, while Harding missed a host of one-on-one chances.

Harding did put one away on 30 minutes, reacting to John Rhodie's block. Substitute Craig Grantham delivered for Ayres' second after the break, when the striker drove in and finished.

Midhurst's Luke Sheldrick was then shown a straight red card for a foul on Stuart McCall, before Ayres completed his hat-trick with a spectacular volley on 75 minutes.

On Saturday, Steyning got themselves in front on 28 minutes, when Chris Duffett's cutback found Martin Rowe, whose finish beat a defender on the line.

Their lead lasted just five minutes, though. Ayres flicked Granthan in on the right of the box and the striker dinked a finish over Steyning stopper Mike Abbott.

Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, Kristian Harding picked out Granthan with a superb, crossfield ball, which he fired into the top corner with his left foot.

Waterhouse looked most likely to get Steyning back into the game but the contest was all over when, two minutes after coming on, as substitute, Chris Watton curled a delicious effort into the top corner from 30 yards.

STORRINGTON v Midhurst: G.Elliott; Blaydon, McCall, Carter, S.Elliott; Cook, Rhodie, Watton, Davis; Ayres, Harding. Subs: Grantham (Blaydon 65), Humphreys (Cook 70), Tasker.

v Steyning: G.Elliott; Davis, McCall, S.Elliott, Carter; Humphries, Harding, Rhodie, Tasker; Ayres, Grantham. Subs: Blaydon (Davis 85), Watton (Humphries 75), Cook (Tasker 80).

Worthing United need just three wins from their remaining five games to clinch an immediate return back into Division 1 after their 1-0 win over Westfield on Saturday.

United joint manager Jason Rutherford said: "It was a very tight, edgy game on a difficult pitch. I thought we'd win by more than we did.

"We didn't play well, but the most important thing was the three points, and we just need to keep going, three wins will do it for us."

United were at Clymping last night (Wednesday) and then finish the season with matches at Little Common and Seaford, before home games against Rye and Littlehampton.

On a hard, bobbly pitch on Saturday, United's winner, which arrived on 20 minutes, typified the game when Grant Philpott's mis-hit shot bounced into the corner for his second goal in two games.

UNITED: Standen; P.Proto, Curnow, Philpott; Joseph, Hayward, Hibberd, Green; P.Elliot, Annis. Mitchell. Subs: Bean, J.Elliot, Corkhill.

Lancing were denied a second successive win in County League Division 2 on Saturday by a late equaliser from Southwick's Dominic Shepherd.

Despite having led twice through Darren Boswell and Danny Clayton in the 2-2 draw on Saturday, Lancing were cost the three points by the 89th-minute strike.

With the clock ticking down, Ryan Walton's shot deflected into the path of Shepherd, whose touch from point-blank range took the ball beyond Lancers' goalkeeper Luke Green.

Wickers had got off to a bad start inside four minutes, when Boswell lobbed Lancers ahead from Shaun Skipper's pass.

The goal inspired Wickers to take the upper hand, and they squandered several chances to equalise. Walton's deflected drive went wide, and James Wotherspoon tested Green soon afterwards.

It did not take them long to equalise, however, as on 15 minutes, Shepherd headed a Simon Bailey cross into the top corner.

Boswell was unlucky not to put Lancers back ahead when he beat two defenders and his curling shot struck the top of the bar.

Wickers, however, continued to carve out the better chances, and Wotherspoon was denied by a good Green save shortly before half-time.

After the break, Lancers thought they had retaken the lead through Dan Griffin in the 48th minute, but his flick was ruled out for a push on Southwick defender Dan Murray in the build-up.

After Wickers' Jamie McLeod shot wide, Lancing did go back in front on the hour mark. Griffin's ball picked out Clayton, who stabbed his effort across goal and into the far corner.

Wickers' Bailey lobbed just over and Dan Rahaman went close in a frantic finale before Shepherd had the final say.

Lancers assistant manager Martyn Rea said: "It was disappointing that we didn't see it out, but I thought a draw was a fair result.

"Bozzy (Darren Boswell) took his goal well, and I'm not sure if it's a point gained or two dropped. We knew it would be a battle, as that's the way Dom's teams play, but for us the rest of the season is about finishing as high as we can."

LANCING: Green; Tuppen, Gander, Mighall, Beard; Boswell, Garnham, R.Loversidge, Skipper; Griffin, Clayton. Subs: Early (Garnham 45), Foster (Skipper 74), Beales (Clayton 90), Hunt, Rea.


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