Stones hit the front after third straight win

Aerial action from the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup tie between Hastings Rangers and Hollington United II. Picture by Simon Newstead
Aerial action from the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup tie between Hastings Rangers and Hollington United II. Picture by Simon Newstead
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Old Hastonians went top of the Macron East Sussex Football League courtesy of a third consecutive victory.

The Stones hopped above previous pacesetters Hollington United, who were in cup action, on goal difference by beating Sedlescombe Rangers 4-0.

Hastings Rangers and Hollington United II tussle for possession. Picture by Simon Newstead

Hastings Rangers and Hollington United II tussle for possession. Picture by Simon Newstead

A Charlie Cornford double, and one apiece for Liam Sayer and Loukas Bradbury secured the points for a Hastonians side which has scored the most goals of anyone in the top flight and conceded the joint fewest.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division on Saturday, Ore Athletic picked up their first victory by winning 2-1 in a tight encounter away to Sidley United. Ben Eldridge netted for Sidley in between Connor Benton Powell and Toby Payne scoring for an Ore side which had drawn its opening two matches.

The other scheduled top flight game, between Eastbourne Rangers and Rock-a-Nore, was postponed.

In the only Division One fixture, Wadhurst United edged out Mountfield United 3-2 to go third in the table. Leon Pettit and James Frake scored for the visitors, but the goals of Kieran Tincombe, James Mitchell and Matt Harman won it for Wadhurst.

Hollington United II on the ball against Hastings Rangers. Picture by Simon Newstead

Hollington United II on the ball against Hastings Rangers. Picture by Simon Newstead

Three teams are level on nine points from four games at the top of Division Two and two of them faced each other last weekend.

Mayfield dropped their first points of the season with a 2-1 loss at Peche Hill Select. A Dom Cole strike wasn’t enough for Mayfield.

The other team in amongst the leading trio, Bexhill AAC, won 4-1 against Eastbourne Athletic thanks largely to an Alex Williams hat-trick. Daniel Morgan completed the scoring for AAC, while Jake Lambert bagged Eastbourne’s consolation.

Billy Jo Driver scored the only goal of the game as Westfield III edged out a Hastings Athletic side which had two players sent-off. Both teams have now won two and lost two.

Hollington United II in possession against Hastings Rangers. Picture by Simon Newstead

Hollington United II in possession against Hastings Rangers. Picture by Simon Newstead

Pebsham Sibex remain three points clear at the top of Division Three after a 6-3 victory at Hailsham Athletico. Nick Gamble scored a hat-trick, and there was one apiece for Ed Randall, Sam Cherry and Aaron Lewis as Sibex made it four wins out of four. Tyler Barker (2) and Jake Barker netted for Athletico.

Second-placed Bexhill Rovers made it nine points from a possible 12 with a 4-2 win at Sedlescombe Rangers II. The Rovers goals came from Matt Mulhern, Iain Stewart Powell, Ashley Collins and Casey Ham.

Bexhill United II continued their improvement with a 4-0 success at Orington. A brace from Lewis Anderson, and one each from Simon Tomlinson and Gary Bryant gave the Pirates a second successive victory after two heavy defeats.

Sovereign Saints and Hawkhurst United II are level on 10 points from four matches at the summit of Division Four.

Hawkhurst dropped their first points after being held to a 3-3 draw at home to third-placed Victoria Baptists. Paul Harvey, James Bellett and Joshua Macdonald netted for the Baptists.

Sovereign Saints went top on goal difference after beating Sandhurst 4-2. Thomas Wilding (2), Jack Griffin and Ashley House claimed the Saints’ goals, with Andrew Turner and William Mantle scoring for Sandhurst.

A Jamie Bunday brace helped fourth-placed Magham Down scrape past Bexhill AAC II 4-3. Miguel Stock completed the scoring for the hosts, while Daniel Milton, Matthew Brolly and Jordan Wade netted for AAC.

The JC Tackleway II and Parkfield both have four points from as many outings after drawing 1-1 with each other. Toby Shaw was on target for Tackleway, while Peter Runacres retaliated.

Wittersham II and Bexhill Broncos remain locked together at the top of Division Five after both teams extended their winning starts to four matches.

Wittersham marched on with a 6-1 victory at home to Sedlescombe Rangers III via the finishing of Gavin Carey (2), Ben Andrews, Jonjo Andrews, Tom Barlow and Joseph Sherwood.

Bexhill Broncos are the highest scorers in the entire league having banged in 25 already. Their latest success was a 5-1 victory at home to third-placed West Hill United II, in which Matt Davies and Ben Sadler both scored a brace, and Jack Harman got the other. Ayrton Ellis nabbed the consolation for a West Hill side which had a player sent-off.

Hayden Reed was quickest to respond to Luke Jackson’s free kick as Northiam 75 II picked up their first win with a 1-0 victory against Hampden Park.

Cranbrook Town also achieved their first victory, beating Icklesham Casuals II 2-0.

The first round matches in the league’s various cup competitions were completed on Saturday and there were few surprises in the President’s Challenge Cup, for Premier Division and Division One clubs.

Yordan Yordanov, Dean Boyd, Fraser Irving, Zac Fawcett and Adam Gooch were the scorers as Battle Baptists, of the Premier Division, recorded a convincing 5-0 victory over Division One side Icklesham Casuals.

Hollington United, unbeaten in the Premier Division, continued their good start to the season with a 5-2 victory at Division One leaders Rye Town. Steve Johnson, Grant Cornelius, Glenn Woodhurst, Ricky Martin and Scott West netted for Hollington, while Rye responded through Rob Wilson and Richard ‘Alfie’ Weller.

Four goals from Rhys Warren saw Northiam 75 beat Herstmonceux 4-2, despite having a man sent-off. Riki Prodger and Thomas Budd scored for the visitors in an all-Division One affair.

Goals from Philip Green, Guy Ballard and Ben Hardy were not enough for Robertsbridge United, who lost 4-3 to Hawkhurst United in an all-Premier Division encounter.

Crowhurst defeated The JC Tackleway 3-2 in another all-Division One clash. Karl Tomlin, Tom Andrew and Sydney Moffat-Bailey won it for Crowhurst, while Craig Jones and Elliot Milham replied for Tackleway.

St Leonards Social received a walkover after Little Common II were unable to raise a team.

Three ties were played in the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup for teams in Division Two and Division Three.

Punnetts Town, of Division Three, upset Division Two outfit Burwash, despite trailing 2-1 with 90 minutes on the clock. A last minute equaliser, followed by two further strikes in extra-time, gave Punnetts a 4-2 victory. Anthony Harvey (2), Patrick Johnson and Joseph Lavender netted for Punnetts, while Kieren Martin and Nathan Chandler had put Burwash in front.

An Andrew Pegman strike was not enough for Division Three side Hollington United II, who lost 2-1 at Division Two club Hastings Rangers. Strikes by Shane Friend and Curtis Beale put Rangers through.

Division Two also got the better of Division Three as St Leonards Social II saw off Battle Baptists II 4-1. A Mark Larkin brace, along with goals from Ashley McCann and Lee Finnighan, did the damage for Social. Oliver Norris replied for the Baptists.

The cup action was concluded by two matches in the Chairman’s Cup, for teams in Division Four and Division Five.

Mayfield II, from Division Four, needed penalties to squeeze past Division Five side Robertsbridge United II after the match finished 2-2. Jamie Fraser and Richard Spooner scored for Mayfield.

Battle Baptists III sprung something of a surprise by beating higher grade West Hill United 4-2. Jamie Crouch scored a hat-trick for Battle, whose other goal was scored by Aaron Jamieson. Dan Aldous and Mike Hawley claimed the West Hill goals.

See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.

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