East Sussex Football League: Table-topping trio see unbeaten records brought to an end

The leaders in three of the Macron Store Hastings East Sussex Football League's five divisions were beaten last weekend.
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The Division One, Division Three and Division Four table-toppers all tasted defeat for the first time in the league this season as the unusually wet autumn weather finally relented, allowing the vast majority of the programme to go ahead.

Some 20 league and cup matches were played on a glorious Saturday afternoon, with only three games succumbing to waterlogged pitches.

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The league's last remaining 100 per cent record is over after Division One top dogs Jesters Town lost 2-1 at home to Ninfield.

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Jake Scott's stoppage-time penalty ended Jesters' six-match winning start to the campaign and lifted Ninfield up to second - six points behind their victims with two games in hand.

The first half had ended level, with Jake Bendle on target for Jesters and Pip Hatch finding the net for Ninfield.

Little Common III shot up three positions to third after a four-goal salvo from Jay Abid helped fire them to an 8-1 home win over Hollington United II.

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Attilio Field, Connor Jackson, Matthew Rose and Joshua Wheeler also struck for Common, who have won six of their last eight fixtures in all competitions. David Burch replied.

Herstmonceux slid from second to fourth - two points behind Ninfield having played once more - after having to settle for a 2-2 draw at Battle Town II.

Charlie Shearing claimed both Herstmonceux goals, while Jamie Smith was among the scorers for a Battle side which claimed its first point of the season despite having a man sent off.

Northiam 75 remain three points clear of Rye Town II at the summit of Division Two after both teams picked up maximum points.

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Jan Bailey's brace, and one each from Nathan Clemans, Bradley Najair and Rhys Warren earned the leaders a 5-2 victory at home to Robertsbridge United. Guy Ballard and Jordan Issac struck for the Bridge.

A Sammy Foulkes hat-trick and Ollie Barrow finish - all in the first half - gave Rye, who have a game in hand on Northiam, a 4-0 home success against fifth-placed Victoria Baptists.

With Crowhurst II's visit from Sovereign Saints II postponed, Bexhill Rovers went third on the back of a 5-3 triumph at sixth-placed Hooe.

Shane Friend (2), Jay Tomlin, David Ammoun and Anton Neil were on the mark for still unbeaten Rovers, who are five points adrift of Northiam having played three fewer matches. Charlie Cornford scored twice and Finn Rolfe once for Hooe.

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Division Three pacesetters Catsfield suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten 7-4 in an 11-goal thriller at home to fourth-placed Orington.

Spencer Sharkey helped himself to a superb five-goal haul for the visitors, who had lost their previous two contests without scoring. Marc Selby claimed Orington's other two goals.

Catsfield are still two points clear of second-placed Parkfield, whose trip to Ticehurst was off, but have now played two extra matches.

Mountfield United climbed to third - six points behind Catsfield with two games in hand - after a goal in either half earned them a 2-1 away win against Welcroft Park Rangers II. James Burnett netted for Welcroft after the break.

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Only goal difference separates sixth-placed Bexhill AAC II and seventh-placed Westfield III, so it was perhaps unsurprising that the clash between them ended in a 2-2 draw.

The goals of Alfie Clark and Alexander Marcou for hosts Westfield were matched by Leo Oliver and Daniel Smith for AAC.

The top two in Division Four - who before the weekend had lost only once between them in the league this term - were both beaten at home.

Table-toppers The JC Tackleway II saw their unbeaten league record brought to a halt by a 1-0 reverse at the hands of Burwash.

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Russell Fyfe's solitary second-half strike proved decisive as third-placed Burwash moved within five points of their victims with a game in hand.

Second-placed Crowhurst III failed to take advantage of Tackleway's slip, however, as they went down 3-1 against fifth-placed Battle Town Development.

A Jack Ross brace and one from Calum Barnes ended Crowhurst's eight-match winning streak across all competitions. Eden White's first-half strike wasn't enough for the Crows.

Brandon Smith leapt off the bench to score a hat-trick as fourth-placed Hastings Comets defeated Hawkhurst United II by the same score to continue their good form.

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Icklesham Casuals crept above the Hawks on goal difference and off the foot of the table after clinching their first point of the campaign at the sixth attempt.

Chris Anderson and Freddie Novis scored as Casuals fought out a 2-2 draw at home to Robertsbridge United II, for whom Jack Dean and Ben Hack were on the scoresheet.

The league's interest in the county knockout competitions is over for the season after defeats for Crowhurst and Peche Hill Select in West Sussex.

The Crows saw a half-time lead wiped out as they lost 2-1 to Ferring in round three of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup.

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Reece Johnson put Premier Division team Crowhurst ahead before Southern Combination League Division Two side Ferring rallied to reach the quarter-finals.

And Peche Hill, of Division One, missed out on a place in the last eight of the Sussex Junior Challenge Cup after going down 2-0 at Selsey reserves.

The three first-round ties in the ESFL Graham Ormston Premier Travel Chauffeurs Challenge Cup produced wins for Hollington United, Punnetts Town and Sidley United.

Hollington were 2-0 victors away to Sandhurst via goals from Danny Spice and Archie Baker, setting up a home quarter-final against Hawkhurst United.

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Sidley and Punnetts will face each other in the last eight of the league's knockout competition for teams in the Premier Division.

Sidley got there after strikes by Andy Atkin, Tony Atkin and Dan Goergen secured a 3-1 success at Bexhill Town, even though they finished with 10 men. Jake Hemsley retaliated.

Michael Keefe (2), Craig Norman, Alex Burton and an own goal fired Punnetts to a 5-0 home triumph against Westfield II.

Division Two outfit Sedlescombe Rangers II dumped The JC Tackleway, of the Premier Division, out of the Macron Store Hastings Cup in some style.

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A Riesse Stewart brace, and one apiece from Zak Boutwood and Ben Steadman earned Rangers a splendid 4-0 win at Oaklands Park.

The other scheduled second-round encounter, between Premier Division pair Bexhill AAC and Hawkhurst United, was called off.

St Leonards Social lost 8-0 at home to Mid-Sussex League Premier Division team Battle Town in round one of the Hastings & District FA Intermediate Challenge Cup.

Standings (played-points) - Premier Division: Rye Town 8-22 (+11 goal difference), Crowhurst 9-20 (+16), Punnetts Town 8-19 (+19), Westfield II 7-18 (+14), The JC Tackleway 11-18 (+1), Bexhill AAC 8-15 (+2), Sandhurst 11-15 (+1), Hollington United 10-13 (-2), St Leonards Social 9-7 (-11), Sidley United 8-6 (-13), Hawkhurst United 10-6 (-22), Bexhill Town 9-(-)1 (-16). * = points adjusted

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Division 1: Jesters Town 7-18 (+20), Ninfield 5-12 (+4), Little Common II 9-12 (-1), Herstmonceux 6-10 (+5), Peche Hill Select 4-9 (+2), SC Pass+Move Arrows 7-9 (-5), Battle Town II 5-1 (-9), Hollington United II 5-(-)1 (-16). * = points adjusted. Rock-a-Nore withdrawn.

Division 2: Northiam 75 10-20 (+15), Rye Town II 9-17 (+13), Bexhill Rovers 7-15 (+12), Crowhurst II 7-13 (+4), Victoria Baptists 8-12 (0), Hooe 8-11 (0), Sedlescombe Rangers II 9-9 (-2), Wadhurst United 9-9 (-4), Robertsbridge United 6-3 (-11), Sovereign Saints II 7-3 (-27).

Division 3: Catsfield 8-17 (+10), Parkfield 6-15 (+8), Mountfield United 6-11 (0), Orington 9-11 (-3), Ticehurst 6-10 (+3), Bexhill AAC II 7-8 (+5), Westfield III 7-8 (0), Welcroft Park Rangers II 8-5 (-5), Sedlescombe Rangers Development 7-4 (-18).

Division 4: The JC Tackleway II 9-22 (+28), Crowhurst III 8-18 (+16), Burwash 8-17 (+12), Hastings Comets 8-13 (-3), Battle Town Development 8-12 (+1), Robertsbridge United II 8-9 (-9), Hastings Athletic 8-6 (-11), Icklesham Casuals 6-1 (-13), Hawkhurst United II 7-1 (-21).

Fixtures - Saturday December 2 (2pm unless stated)

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Premier Division: Bexhill AAC v Crowhurst, Punnetts Town v Rye Town, Sandhurst v The JC Tackleway, Sidley United v Hawkhurst United.

Division 1: Battle Town II v SC Pass+Move Arrows.

Division 2: Northiam 75 v Bexhill Rovers, Victoria Baptists v Hooe.

Division 3: Parkfield v Sedlescombe Rangers Development.

Division 4: Hastings Athletic v Crowhurst III, Hastings Comets v Robertsbridge United II, Icklesham Casuals v Battle Town Development.

ESFL Wisden Sports Challenge Cup, 2nd round (1.30pm): Robertsbridge United v Peche Hill Select.

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Macron Store Hastings Cup, 2nd round (1.30pm): Bexhill Town v Hollington United, St Leonards Social v Hollington United II, Westfield II v Little Common II.

Robertsbridge Charity Junior Cup, 1st round (1.30pm): Catsfield v Mountfield United, Hawkhurst United II v Jesters Town, Ninfield v Orington, Westfield III v Burwash.

Hastings & District FA Junior Challenge Cup, 1st round (1.30pm): Crowhurst II v Wadhurst United.

Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup, 1st round (1.30pm): The JC Tackleway II v Ticehurst.

Eastbourne FA Vice-Presidents Cup (1.30pm): Sovereign Saints II v Herstmonceux.