Crowhurst can crow - but Northiam in hot pursuit
Crowhurst have opened up a four-point lead at the top of the East Sussex Football League Premier Division.
The Crows have picked up 13 points from their last five league matches, the latest of which was a 4-1 victory away to Hawkhurst United on Saturday.
Ashley Kidman's hat-trick and one from Jordan Slater secured three more points for Crowhurst, who are enjoying a marked upturn in fortunes having been bottom of the table when last season was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ben Anderson netted for a Hawkhurst side which has dropped to eighth.
Northiam 75 are now Crowhurst's nearest pursuers following their 4-2 win away to Robertsbridge United in a game featuring three late goals.
Hayden Reed, Oscar Garcia-Cruz, Joe Millar and Charlie Stevens scored for Northiam, who have played two games fewer than the leaders. Curtis Coombes and Chris Phillips replied for a Robertsbridge team which has fallen into the bottom two.
Wadhurst United are up to third - a point behind Northiam - after inflicting a first league defeat of the season on Battle Town, winning 3-1 at Battle Rec. Battle are now down in sixth - seven points behind the leaders but with four games in hand.
St Leonards Social climbed to fourth courtesy of a 2-1 success at home to Bexhill Town. Musa Camara and Ben Phipps were the Social scorers, while Charlie Hemsley's goal wasn't quite enough to earn Town their first point.
Punnetts Town rose two places to seventh on the back of a splendid 4-0 triumph at home to a Rock-a-Nore side which is down to fifth after three consecutive league losses. Patrick Johnson, Harry Chatfield, Simon Betteridge and Stevie Worsell got the goals.
With previous Division One pacesetters Bexhill AAC in cup action, South Coast Athletico and The JC Tackleway jumped above them by convincingly winning their respective league matches.
Athletico are the new leaders - by two points - following an 8-1 win away to Victoria Baptists. Tyler Smith blasted a hat-trick, Connor Easton and Nick Gamble scored two apiece, and Dayle McGurk got the other in Athletico's fifth consecutive league victory.
Tackleway went second on goal difference, albeit having played once more than AAC, following a 4-0 success at home to Sidley United II. A Kale Williams double, plus one each from Nathan Smith and Andrew Olorenshaw, did the damage.
Catsfield jumped up two places to third in Division Two by continuing their unbeaten start to the league season with a 5-1 victory away to Peche Hill Select II.
Antony Luke and Adam Reilly netted two goals each, and Jacob Jones also found the target for Catsfield, who are just two points behind second-placed Bexhill Rovers with two games in hand. Benn Cooper provided Peche Hill's lone response.
Bexhill AAC II moved level on points - and goal difference - with Division Three leaders AFC Hollington by dint of a 3-0 win at home to Hampden Park.
Strikes by Charlie Morgan, Darrell Shaw and Alex Williams secured AAC's fourth victory in five league outings. Hampden Park remain sixth.
A fascinating battle for the Division Four title is on the cards, with the leading four teams now covered by just three points - having all played the same number of fixtures.
Icklesham Casuals dropped from first to third after losing 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller away to a fourth-placed Hooe side which is now just a point behind them.
The goals of Noah White (2), Callum Holt-Burgess and Aidan Pierce for Hooe just eclipsed those of Sam Norman (2) and Phil Badrock as Icklesham fought back.
Sovereign Saints II - the only side in the fifth tier yet to taste defeat - went two points clear at the summit on the strength of a 3-1 win at home to Orington.
Travis Anderson and Jordon Funnell were among the scorers for Saints, while Ashley Jamieson retaliated for eighth-placed Orington.
Welcroft Park Rangers moved above Icklesham on goal difference by virtue of a 5-3 success at home to West Hill United in another high-scoring encounter.
Jamie Bundy's hat-trick, and one apiece by Bill Coles and Stephen Gillat proved sufficient for Welcroft Park, despite James Walker (2) and Ayrton Ellis finding the net for West Hill. Bundy - the division's leading marksman - now has 13 for the campaign.
Herstmonceux II moved above Hampden Park u23 to fifth in Division Five after beating them 4-0 away from home.
Strikes by Robbie Hodgson (2), Ryan Arnott and Curtis Eyres won the game for Herstmonceux and added them to a posse of four sides level on six points - four behind the top two.
There was also plenty of cup action at the weekend and Mountfield United achieved an away victory in the ESFL Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup for the second successive Saturday.
Two Perry Leddy goals, and one each from Aaron Brindley and Matt Tidmarsh earned Mountfield a 4-3 second-round win over fellow Division Two team Herstmonceux. They will again be away from home, against AFC Hollington, in the quarter-finals.
Hastings United Youth booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Robertsbridge Charity Junior Cup via a 4-0 success away to Sedlescombe Rangers development.
Dan Kearley's brace, and one each by Kieran Stocker and Beni Mutombo enabled Division Three outfit Hastings to see off their Division Four opponents and set up a last-eight trip to West Hill United.
The Hastings & District FA knockout competitions got underway, with six ties in the Junior Cup and three in the Lower Divisions Cup.
The Junior Cup threw up some closely-contested and high-scoring affairs, albeit little in the way of surprise results.
The one second-round game in which a team from a higher division was beaten saw undefeated Division Two leaders Little Common II prevail 4-2 away to Division One outfit Sedlescombe Rangers II.
Nick Kavanagh continued his sensational start to the season by netting all four goals for Common, who have won all eight of their matches in all competitions so far and netted 45 times to boot. Sean Howard bagged both Sedlescombe goals.
Unbeaten Division One high-flyers Bexhill AAC were pushed all the way by improving Division Two side Northiam 75 II before returning home with a 2-1 victory. AAC were indebted to Ben Packer's double, while Emile Tambeh struck for Northiam.
Marcus Popple and Jordan Swain were among the scorers for Rye Town as they won 3-2 at home to Battle Town II in an all-Division One affair. Adam Robinson and James Williams struck for Battle.
Bexhill Rovers enjoyed an altogether more comfortable passage through to the quarter-finals after winning 9-0 at home to Robertsbridge United II.
Casey Ham plundered a hat-trick, while Benjamin Britt, Josh Brown, Ian Jones, Neal Blackham, Matt Simmons and James Jeffreys completed the scoring for Division Two promotion hopefuls Rovers against Division Three opposition.
There were also two first-round games, including a nine-goal thriller in which Old Town Lions triumphed 5-4 at home to Division Three rivals Hawkhurst United II.
Strikes by Ben Mersh (2), James Downs, Lewis Wade and Jack Brockhurst proved just enough for the Lions, who are straight through to the quarter-finals as their scheduled second-round opponents, Rolvenden, have withdrawn from the competition. Thomas Gransbury (2), Louis Hazell and Andy Todd were on the mark for Hawkhurst.
Peche Hill Select, from Division One, progressed thanks to a 4-2 triumph away to undefeated Division Three side Sandhurst.
Cameron Woodley, Danny Woodley, Grant Cornelius and Sean Kelly scored for Peche Hill, while Jon Bilsby and Ben Cooper retaliated for Sandhurst.
The quarter-final draw sees Old Town Lions at home to Bexhill AAC, AFC Hollington or West Hill United entertaining The JC Tackleway II or Peche Hill, Little Common versus Rye and Bexhill Rovers against SC Pass + Move or St Leonards Social II.
In round one of the Lower Divisions Cup, Division Five outfit Ticehurst triumphed at home to Division Four team Magham Down. Jack Savage netted the only goal.
The clash between the teams lying top and bottom of Division Five went to form with AFC Hollington II winning 7-0 at home to Welcroft Park Rangers II. Jules Phillips (2), Jack Barry, Kieran Dighton, Sam Logan, Tom Whelan and Aaron Green were the scorers.
Battle Town III, who are second-bottom of Division Four, ran out 6-0 victors away to a Wadhurst United II side lying second-top in Division Five. Ben Thorpe banged in four of the goals and Toby Shaw helped himself to the other two.
Ticehurst will host Battle in the quarter-finals and Hollington will travel to Hooe. The other last-eight games will see Hastings Comets at home to Sedlescombe Rangers development and Orington entertain Icklesham Casuals.
With the clocks having gone back and the nights drawing in, kick-off times will come forward by an hour from this coming Saturday. League games will start at 2pm and cup matches at 1.30pm in most cases.
League standings (played-points) - Premier Division: Crowhurst 8-16, Northiam 75 6-12, Wadhurst United 6-11, St Leonards Social 6-10, Rock-a-Nore 7-10, Battle Town 4-9, Punnetts Town 5-7, Hawkhurst United 5-7, Robertsbridge United 6-4, Bexhill Town 7-0.
Division 1: South Coast Athletico 6-15, The JC Tackleway 6-13, Bexhill AAC 5-13, Sedlescombe Rangers II 6-8, Rye Town 5-6, Peche Hill Select 4-4, Battle Town II 4-4, Victoria Baptists 5-2, Sidley United II 7-2.
Division 2: Little Common II 6-18, Bexhill Rovers 6-12, Catsfield 4-10, Herstmonceux 7-10, SC Pass + Move Arrows 4-9, Westfield II* 6-6, Northiam 75 II* 5-6, St Leonards Social II 4-3, Peche Hill Select II 5-3, Mountfield United 5-0.
Division 3: AFC Hollington 5-12, Bexhill AAC II 5-12, Sandhurst 4-10, Hastings United Youth 6-9, Old Town Lions 4-7, Hampden Park 6-6, The JC Tackleway II 3-3, Hawkhurst United II 5-3, Robertsbridge United II 4-0.
Division 4: Sovereign Saints II 6-14, Welcroft Park Rangers 6-12, Icklesham Casuals 6-12, Hooe 6-11, Parkfield 6-7, Magham Down 4-6, Sedlescombe Rangers development 6-6, Orington 6-5, Battle Town III 5-4, West Hill United 3-0.
Division 5: AFC Hollington II 4-10, Wadhurst United II 4-10, Hastings Comets 3-6, Ticehurst 5-6, Herstmonceux II 6-6, Hampden Park u23 6-6, Welcroft Park Rangers II 4-3. West Hill United II withdrawn.
Saturday October 31 fixtures (league games kick-off at 2pm, cup matches at 1.30pm unless stated) - Premier Division: Battle Town v Punnetts Town; Rock-a-Nore v Hawkhurst United; St Leonards Social v Northiam 75; Wadhurst United v Robertsbridge United.
Division 1: South Coast Athletico v Battle Town II (1.30pm); Rye Town v The JC Tackleway; Sidley United II v Sedlescombe Rangers II; Victoria Baptists v Bexhill AAC.
Division 2: Bexhill Rovers v Little Common II; Catsfield v SC Pass + Move Arrows; Northiam 75 v Peche Hill Select II; Westfield II v Herstmonceux.
Division 3: Hawkhurst United II v Hampden Park; Robertsbridge United II v Old Town Lions.
Division 4: Battle Town III v Sedlescombe Rangers development; Magham Down v Icklesham Casuals; Parkfield v Welcroft Park Rangers; Orington v Hooe (3.30pm).
Division 5: Hampden Park u23 v AFC Hollington II; Hastings Comets v Welcroft Park Rangers II; Herstmonceux II v Wadhurst United II.
ESFL Graham Ormston Premier Travel Challenge Cup, 2nd round: Crowhurst v Bexhill Town.
ESFL Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup, 2nd round: Hastings United Youth v St Leonards Social II.
Robertsbridge Charity Junior Cup, 1st round: Bexhill AAC II v Mountfield United.
Hastings & District FA Junior Cup, 2nd round: AFC Hollington v West Hill United; The JC Tackleway II v Peche Hill Select.