East Sussex Football League: Nine games go ahead as rain again hits programme

Nine matches involving Macron Store Hastings East Sussex Football League clubs went ahead on Saturday as the schedule was again hit by wet weather.
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Only one of the six Premier Division fixtures got the green light and that produced a 5-2 win for Bexhill AAC at home to Sandhurst.

A Leo Oliver hat-trick, and one apiece from Emile Tambeh and Rosh Wells earned AAC a victory which lifted them up two positions into the top half.

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Alfie Bilsby and Jon Bilsby scored for Sandhurst, who along with The JC Tackleway dropped below AAC in the standings.

Hollington and Westfield in action earlier in the season | Picture: Joe KnightHollington and Westfield in action earlier in the season | Picture: Joe Knight
Hollington and Westfield in action earlier in the season | Picture: Joe Knight

Jesters Town seized the initiative in the race for the Division One title after they beat third-placed Peche Hill Select and second-placed Ninfield lost 4-2 to bottom side Battle Town II.

Musa Camara and substitute Jake Maynard plundered hat-tricks, and Jake Barker also hit the net as Jesters powered to a 7-2 success in a match played at Hailsham Community College.

Liam Foster claimed both goals for a Peche side which trailed 2-0 at the break before Jesters ran away with it during the closing quarter of an hour.

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Joe Trigwell's double couldn't prevent Ninfield suffering their first home defeat of the season as a Kieren Martin treble and Aston Sweetman finish gave Battle their first league win of the campaign against any of the other six teams still competing in the second tier.

It all means that Jesters are six points clear of Ninfield and have a vastly superior goal difference, albeit having played two more fixtures.

Peche Hill are a further six points off the pace, having played three fewer matches than the table-toppers.

Hooe jumped up from fourth to second in Division Two on the back of a 2-1 home triumph against Crowhurst II.

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The goals of Reece Homewood and substitute Jack Penn earned Hooe a fourth successive league win as their new year surge up the table continues.

They have, however, played three more matches than third-placed Bexhill Rovers and fourth-placed Rye Town II, who are two and three points behind Hooe respectively.

James McGrath’s finish wasn’t enough to prevent fifth-placed Crowhurst from suffering a fourth successive defeat in all competitions.

Both of the Division Three encounters that beat the weather ended in draws, reflecting the competitive nature of a division in which there's only 12 points between top and bottom.

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Mountfield United climbed a spot to fifth after their visit from Sedlescombe Rangers Development finished 2-2.

Steven Fortsch and Jack Harman were on the scoresheet for Mountfield as they drew for the fourth time in nine league matches this term.

Ticehurst struck twice in the dying minutes as they recovered from 2-0 down at half time to draw 3-3 in the battle of the bottom two away to Welcroft Park Rangers II.

James Burnett and George Jones were among the scorers for Welcroft, while Shane Bumstead's late brace after an earlier Darren Nicol strike salvaged a point for Ticehurst.

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Ticehurst remain above Welcroft on goal difference with five games in hand. Both teams are only three points adrift of Mountfield.

Burwash are the new leaders of Division Four after they won and long-time pacesetters The JC Tackleway II drew 2-2 with third-placed Crowhurst III.

Lewis Fairs, Daniel Murrell and Jamie Pelling all scored twice as Burwash ran out 6-0 victors against a Battle Town Development outfit which thumped Tackleway 6-1 last time out.

Tackleway shared four goals with Crowhurst in a match played at Bexhill College. Arron Scrace and Josh Naylor struck for the Crows, while Toby Payne and Jordan Miller replied.

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The upshot is that Burwash are a point clear of Tackleway and four better off than Crowhurst, with all three teams having three games remaining.

The one scheduled cup fixture went ahead and Bexhill Rovers defeated higher-grade SC Pass+Move Arrows to reach the ESFL Wisden Sports Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Second-half strikes by David Ammoun, Anton Neil and Kieran Dighton ensured Division Two high-fliers Rovers emerged 3-0 winners at home to their Division One opponents.

Rovers' reward for reaching their second cup semi-final of the season is a meeting with Division Two leaders Northiam 75.

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Standings (played-points) - Premier Division: Rye Town 11-31 (+19 goal difference), Crowhurst 12-29 (+19), Westfield II 11-27 (+18), Punnetts Town* 12-22 (+19), Hollington United 15-22 (+1), Bexhill AAC 12-21 (+4), The JC Tackleway 14-21 (+1), Sandhurst 15-19 (-3), Sidley United 12-14 (-9), St Leonards Social 11-8 (-14), Hawkhurst United 13-7 (-28), Bexhill Town* 14-(-)1 (-27). * = points adjusted

Division 1: Jesters Town 10-24 (+25), Ninfield 8-18 (+4), Peche Hill Select 7-12 (0), SC Pass+Move Arrows 8-12 (-2), Herstmonceux* 8-10 (-1), Little Common II 8-6 (-13), Battle Town II 9-4 (-13). * = points adjusted. Rock-a-Nore, Hollington United II withdrawn.

Division 2: Northiam 75 12-26 (+21), Hooe 13-23 (+6), Bexhill Rovers 10-21 (+14), Rye Town II 10-20 (+15), Crowhurst II 10-16 (+5), Sedlescombe Rangers II 12-15 (-1), Victoria Baptists 12-15 (-7), Wadhurst United 11-12 (-5), Robertsbridge United 9-3 (-19), Sovereign Saints II 9-3 (-29).

Division 3: Parkfield 10-22 (+8), Catsfield 8-17 (+10), Westfield III 11-15 (+6), Orington 12-14 (-8), Mountfield United 9-13 (-2), Bexhill AAC II 9-12 (+5), Sedlescombe Rangers Development 12-12 (-18), Ticehurst* 8-10 (+3), Welcroft Park Rangers II 13-10 (-4). * = points adjusted

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Division 4: Burwash 13-30 (+23), The JC Tackleway II 13-29 (+32), Crowhurst III 13-26 (+28), Hastings Comets 10-16 (-1), Robertsbridge United II 13-16 (-13), Battle Town Development 13-15 (-5), Icklesham Casuals 9-10 (-6), Hastings Athletic 14-10 (-27), Hawkhurst United II 10-1 (-31).

Fixtures - Saturday February 24 (2pm unless stated)

Premier Division: Hawkhurst United v Crowhurst, Punnetts Town v Bexhill Town, Sandhurst v Rye Town, Sidley United v Westfield II, The JC Tackleway v St Leonards Social.

Division 1: Battle Town II v Peche Hill Select, Jesters Town v Herstmonceux, Ninfield v Little Common II.

Division 2: Crowhurst II v Robertsbridge United, Northiam 75 v Wadhurst United, Victoria Baptists v Sovereign Saints II.

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Division 3: Mountfield United v Orington, Ticehurst v Sedlescombe Rangers Development, Westfield III v Welcroft Park Rangers II.

Division 4: Robertsbridge United II v Hastings Comets.

Macron Store Hastings Cup quarter-final (1.30pm): Bexhill AAC v Hollington United.

ESFL Division Three/Four Challenge Cup semi-finals: Catsfield v Battle Town Development (1.30pm), Crowhurst III v Parkfield (4pm).

Hastings & District FA Junior Challenge Cup semi-finals (1.30pm): Bexhill Rovers v Hooe, Rye Town II v Sedlescombe Rangers II.

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