Battle Town reach last 16 of Intermediate Challenge Cup, St Leonards Social in seventh heaven, Bexhill AAC back on top

Battle Town have ensured the East Sussex Football League will be represented in round three of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup.

Battle Town have ensured the East Sussex Football League will be represented in round three of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup
Battle Town have ensured the East Sussex Football League will be represented in round three of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup

The Premier Division title contenders won 2-1 away to Mid Sussex League Premier Division outfit Rotherfield in their second-round tie on Saturday.

Dean Boyd and Trystan Mayhew got the goals as Battle extended their winning run to nine matches in all competitions.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

They will visit Southern Combination League Division Two side Southwater or neighbours Westfield, of the Mid Sussex League, in the last 16 next month.

Bexhill Town were unable to join them, however, after losing 8-0 to undefeated Mid Sussex League leaders Sidley United in a hotly-anticipated local derby.

Wadhurst United's tie at home to Hurstpierpoint was postponed, as was the Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup third-round clash between East Sussex League teams Rye Town and Bexhill Rovers.

PREMIER DIVISION

The rest of last weekend's action took place in the league and St Leonards Social made an emphatic return to form in the Premier Division with a 7-0 win at home to Northiam 75.

Liam Baker plundered a hat-trick, and there was one apiece for Colton Alleyne, Rob Mitchell, Sam Richardson and Kieran Stocker as Social ended their four-game losing run and moved up a place to fourth in the table.

The team they climbed above was Punnetts Town, who were beaten 5-2 at home to eighth-placed Rock-a-Nore.

The Rocks' second league victory of the campaign has given them a three-point cushion above the bottom two.

Crowhurst remain three points clear at the top after their match away to Robertsbridge United was postponed.

DIVISION ONE

With Rye not in league action, Bexhill AAC seized the chance to go back to the top of Division One by winning 5-1 at home to South Coast Athletico.

Will Daniels, Oscar Hammond, Andrew Matthews, Ben Packer and David Pugh all hit the net as AAC moved a point clear at the head of affairs. Jack Harris netted for sixth-placed Athletico.

Fourth-placed The JC Tackleway made it seven successive victories in all competitions with a 3-2 success at home to Battle Town II.

Nathan Smith and Kale Hakos were among the scorers for Tackleway, who are now just three points outside the top three.

Sedlescombe Rangers II picked up their first point of the season at the ninth attempt courtesy of a 1-1 draw at home to seventh-placed Peche Hill Select.

Zak Boutwood's goal got Sedlescombe off the mark for 2021/22 and put them within two points of Battle. Joseph Worsley struck for Peche Hill, who are now four points above the bottom two.

The game between SC Pass+Move Arrows and third-placed Sidley United II was postponed.

DIVISION TWO

The three title hopefuls in Division Two all picked up three points and they remain separated by a solitary point as a result.

Westfield II still just about lead the way after they received a walkover at home to fourth-placed Catsfield.

But second-placed Northiam 75 II are now just one goal behind them on goal difference following a 7-0 win at home to fifth-placed Herstmonceux.

Scott Embery and Kelvin Lowes helped themselves to hat-tricks, while Bradley Najair also got in on the act as Northiam resoundingly ended a run of five matches without a victory in all competitions.

Third-placed Little Common II, who have a game in hand on the top two, triumphed 3-1 at home to Victoria Baptists.

Strikes by Attilio Field, Ben Gardner and Kit Harris-Macrae did the damage for Common, while Jacob Impey came off the bench to score Victoria's goal.

Sandhurst climbed above Victoria and out of the bottom two on the back of a 4-2 success away to sixth-placed Hooe.

Robert Briley, James Found, Jon Bilsby and Michael Peevor were on the scoresheet for Sandhurst, who are now only two points outside the top four. An Aidan Pierce double couldn't prevent Hooe losing for the first time in five outings.

DIVISION THREE

It was a similar story in Division Three as, again, the three title contenders all added three more points to their respective tallies.

Ninfield preserved their three-point advantage at the summit after Jason Taylor's hat-trick and one each from Andy Hales and Mark Franks secured a 5-0 win at home to Bexhill AAC II.

AFC Hollington, who have two games in hand, moved up to second by dint of a 9-1 victory away to fourth-placed Icklesham Casuals, whose consolation was scored by George Stoodley Randall.

Hollington now have a better goal difference than Welcroft Park Rangers, who received a walkover away to The JC Tackleway II.

Welcroft Park have played a match fewer than Ninfield and one more than Hollington.

DIVISION FOUR

The clash of the top two in Division Four produced a 1-0 victory for Ticehurst away to Hastings Comets.

Toby Tapp's all-important goal moved Ticehurst back to the head of the standings and put them two points clear of their victims.

Third-placed Sovereign Saints II are now just a point adrift of the Comets with a game in hand after running out 8-1 winners away to Sedlescombe Rangers Development.

Jordon Funnell led the way with a hat-trick, Ben Usher bagged a brace, and Luke Maglennon, Travis Parks and George Sambrook chipped in with one apiece for Saints, while Jake Warner nabbed Sedlescombe's consolation.

Parkfield are also very much in the mix and their 5-3 success away to Orington means the top four teams are separated by just three points.

The goals of Alfie Morris (2), Aaron French, Billy Norton and Marley Jesson for Parkfield eclipsed those of Tristan Hinz, Mason Mockridge and Spencer Sharkey for fifth-placed Orington.

The clash between Battle Town III and South Coast Athletico II was postponed.

DIVISION FIVE

Crowhurst II pulled off a 5-3 victory at home to Westfield III in a crucial contest between two of the Division Five title contenders.

Anton Neil fired in a hat-trick, and Harry Blunden and James McGrath were also on the scoresheet for the Crows, who are now up to second and within four points of their victims having played four fewer matches.

Hampden Park dropped below the Crows after their scheduled visit to Herstmonceux II was postponed.

Burwash leapfrogged Welcroft Park Rangers II into fifth place after beating them 4-2 at Swan Meadow despite finishing with 10 men.

Alex Underdown (2), Max Taylor and Daniel Murrell struck for Burwash, while Mark Hedges and Matthew Williams notched for Welcroft Park.

The final round of fixtures before the festive break will take place this coming Saturday and there are key games at the top of most divisions.

Standings (played-points) - Premier Division: Crowhurst 10-28 (+29 goal difference), Battle Town 10-25 (+26), Bexhill Town 10-20 (+16), St Leonards Social 11-19 (+4), Punnetts Town 11-17 (+10), Northiam 75 11-14 (-19), Hawkhurst United 12-10 (-8), Rock-a-Nore 10-8 (-10), Wadhurst United 11-5 (-21), Robertsbridge United 8-3 (-27).

Division 1: Bexhill AAC 9-22 (+29), Rye Town 9-21 (+15), Sidley United II 9-19 (+10), The JC Tackleway 9-16 (+9), SC Pass+Move Arrows 6-12 (+8), South Coast Athletico 8-10 (-6), Peche Hill Select 7-7 (-8), Battle Town II 10-3 (-25), Sedlescombe Rangers II 9-1 (-32).

Division 2: Westfield II* 11-22 (+18), Northiam 75 II 11-22 (+17), Little Common II 10-21 (+17), Catsfield 12-14 (-11), Herstmonceux 11-13 (-12), Hooe* 10-13 (-12), Sandhurst 10-12 (+2), Victoria Baptists 10-11 (-6), Bexhill Rovers 9-7 (-13). * = 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: Ticehurst 11-24 (+16), Hastings Comets 11-22 (+19), Sovereign Saints II 10-21 (+25), Parkfield 11-21 (+10), Orington 10-13 (+4), Battle Town III 10-9 (-28), Sedlescombe Rangers Development 12-9 (-38), South Coast Athletico II 9-6 (-8).

Division 5: Westfield III 12-26 (+44), Crowhurst II 8-22 (+46), Hampden Park 8-20 (+36), Herstmonceux II 9-19 (+17), Burwash 12-13 (-11), Welcroft Park Rangers II 10-12 (-5), Hastings Comets II 11-7 (-43), D&S Hastings Youth 12-0 (-84). Sedlescombe Rangers IV withdrawn.

Saturday, December 18 fixtures - Premier Division (2pm): Crowhurst v Battle Town, Hawkhurst United v Northiam 75, Punnetts Town v Robertsbridge United, Rock-a-Nore v Bexhill Town, Wadhurst United v St Leonards Social.

Division 1 (2pm): Battle Town II v The JC Tackleway, Bexhill AAC v Sedlescombe Rangers II, Rye Town v South Coast Athletico, Sidley United II v Peche Hill Select.

Division 2 (2pm): Catsfield v Herstmonceux, Northiam 75 II v Little Common II, Sandhurst v Bexhill Rovers, Victoria Baptists v Westfield II.

Division 3 (2pm): Icklesham Casuals v Mountfield United.

Division 4 (2pm unless stated): Battle Town III v Sedlescombe Rangers Development, Orington v Ticehurst (3.30pm), South Coast Athletico II v Parkfield (1.30pm), Sovereign Saints II v Hastings Comets.

Division 5 (2pm unless stated): D&S Hastings Youth v Crowhurst II, Hampden Park v Westfield III (1.30pm), Hastings Comets II v Welcroft Park Rangers II, Herstmonceux II v Burwash.

Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup, third round (1.30pm): Optimus v Welcroft Park Rangers, SC Pass+Move Arrows v Broadwater Athletic.