East Sussex League finals line-ups take shape
FIVE of the six finalists in the East Sussex Football League's April/May Competitions have been decided following Saturday's matches.
Sidley United II, SC Pass+Move Arrows, Hawkhurst United II, Welcroft Park Rangers and AFC Hollington II have all made it through to the finals of the three competitions having won their respective groups.
The first two finals will take place this Saturday. Pass+Move will face Hawkhurst in the Division Two/Three decider at Bexhill College (1pm kick-off), while Welcroft Park will take on Hollington in the Division Four/Five showpiece at Westfield FC (3pm kick-off).
The Premier/Division One tournament will conclude the following Saturday (May 22) when Sidley will meet Rye Town or Rock-a-Nore at Westfield FC.
Sidley booked their final place by winning 2-0 at home to Battle Town in a winner-takes-all shoot-out for top spot in group A.
The goals of Alex Williams and Harley Ransom earned Sidley their sixth victory in seven matches and put them three points clear of their victims.
South Coast Athletico ended up third after winning their last two matches in the space of four days. A 2-1 success away to Bexhill Town last Wednesday was followed by an 8-3 triumph at home to Wadhurst United on Saturday.
Eduard Benyi Czeller and Nick Gamble scored against Town (whose reply came from Ben Eldridge) before a Gamble hat-trick, two from David Burch, and one apiece by Czeller, Harry Jackson and Jarad Beaumont saw off Wadhurst.
Bexhill Town then conceded their game at home to Bexhill AAC on Saturday, meaning AAC pipped Wadhurst for fourth place.
Sidley are waiting to find out their opponents in the final because the winners of group B won't be known until after Rock-a-Nore and Battle Town II meet in the one outstanding group fixture this Wednesday evening.
The Rocks are currently third in the standings, but a victory over fifth-placed Battle would see them pip Rye Town to top spot by a single point. Anything less, though, and Rye will hold on to their place at the head of affairs.
Rock-a-Nore kept their hopes very much alive by winning 2-0 at home to 10-man The JC Tackleway on Saturday.
Rye completed their group fixtures with a 3-2 win away to Battle via the finishing of Sam Hesmer, Bradley Sayer and Liam Sayer.
Battle had previously pulled off a splendid 6-1 win away to Crowhurst last Wednesday. Elliott Poole (2), Ben Hollingsworth, George Rayner and Giorgio Wingrove were among the scorers for Battle, while Jordan Turner netted the Crows' consolation.
Crowhurst had to wait until their final game on Saturday for their first win, but it arrived in style with an 8-2 success at home to Victoria Baptists.
Tom Frazer-Bates (3), Jordan Slater (2), Chris Ford, Jack Harman and Turner were on target for the Crows, while Danny Bunn and Adam Smith responded for Victoria.
Sedlescombe Rangers II finished two points behind fellow Division One team Rye following a 4-1 victory away to Punnetts Town. George Marshall scored for Punnetts.
Pass+Move secured top spot in group A of the Division Two/Three Competition courtesy of a 3-1 win away to Westfield II.
Kwabena Asante, Jonjo Wright and Charlie Honey scored for Pass+Move, who completed the group stage with an unbeaten record.
Catsfield finished two points back in second place following a 7-0 victory away to St Leonards Social II. Andy Atkin (2), Antony Luke (2), Tom Andrew, Adam Reilly and Laurie Burrett were the scorers.
Little Common II ended up a further point back in third after their 4-1 success away to Hastings United Youth.
Attilio Field, Nick Kavanagh, Christopher Adams and Jordan Harris struck for Common, while Beni Mutombo responded for United.
A walkover win away to Old Town Lions meant AFC Hollington climbed to fourth.
There was a dramatic finish in Group B, where the battle for top spot couldn't have been any tighter.
Three teams ended up level on 18 points and the top two even had an identical +17 goal difference, but Hawkhurst United II eventually pipped Sandhurst by the narrowest of margins. Bexhill AAC II were a very close third.
Hawkhurst just about got over the line by virtue of a 4-0 win at home to fifth-placed Bexhill Rovers. Jason Donoghue plundered a hat-trick and Morgan Todd grabbed the other.
A 6-0 victory at home to fourth-placed Hampden Park wasn't quite enough for unfortunate Sandhurst. Alfie Beadle and James Found netted twice each, and Thomas McClintock and Daniel Beechey got the other goals.
Ben Barton bagged a brace and Dominic Sinden also found the net as AAC prevailed 3-1 away to Mountfield United.
Welcroft Park Rangers finished a point clear in group A of the Division Four/Five Competition with an undefeated record.
They completed their group fixtures with a 3-3 draw away to Herstmonceux II thanks to a Jamie Bundy hat-trick. That was matched by Jordan Groves' brace and a Rory Collins strike for Herstmonceux.
Second-placed Hooe made it six wins out of seven with a 1-0 victory away to Sovereign Saints II. Aidan Pierce netted the only goal.
Hastings Comets climbed above Saints into third place by dint of an 8-1 success away to Sedlescombe Rangers development.
Brandon Smith, Ben Tudor and Luke Darvill scored two goals each, and Tyler Wilson and Darren James Podmore completed the Comets' haul. Michael Minns claimed Sedlescombe's consolation.
Group B winners AFC Hollington II were the only team in all three competitions to win all seven of their group fixtures.
They made it a full house of 21 points with a 4-2 victory away to a Ticehurst side which could have pipped Hollington for top spot with a win.
Strikes by Tom Whelan (2), Jules Phillips and John Walker preserved Hollington's 100 percent record, despite a Jack Savage brace for Ticehurst.
As it was, Ticehurst ended up third because Battle Town III won 5-0 at home to Orington to move above them. Ben Thorpe (2), Dale Matthews, James McGrath and Adam Robinson were on the scoresheet.
Parkfield finished fourth despite losing 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller away to a Magham Down outfit which jumped up two places off the bottom.
Shay Stolton (2), Declan Caffrey, Alex Hover and Christopher Johnson found the net for Magham, while Oliver Truman (2) and Aaron French struck for Parkfield.
Fifth-placed Icklesham Casuals prevailed 2-1 away to Welcroft Park Rangers II thanks to the goals of Phil Badrock and Blue Willoughby. Alan Pope replied for Welcroft Park.
Standings (played 7 matches unless stated) - Premier/Division 1, Group A: Sidley United II 18pts (+11 goal difference), Battle Town 15 (+9), South Coast Athletico 12 (+3), Bexhill AAC 10 (-3), Wadhurst United 10 (-4), St Leonards Social 6 (-4), Robertsbridge United 5 (-7), Bexhill Town 4 (-5).
Group B: Rye Town 15pts (+8), Sedlescombe Rangers II 13 (+6), Rock-a-Nore (6) 13 (+5), The JC Tackleway 10 (+6), Battle Town II (6) 9 (+5), Punnetts Town 7 (+1), Crowhurst 7 (0), Victoria Baptists 1 (-31).
Division 2/3, Group A: SC Pass + Move Arrows 17pts (+10), Catsfield 15 (+12), Little Common II 14 (+9), AFC Hollington 10 (-3), Northiam 75 II 9 (0), Old Town Lions 6 (-2), St Leonards Social II* 6 (-10), Westfield II 5 (-8), Hastings United Youth 4 (-7).
Group B: Hawkhurst United II* 18pts (+17), Sandhurst 18 (+17), Bexhill AAC II 18 (+4), Hampden Park 10 (-6), Bexhill Rovers* 10 (-8), Mountfield United 6 (-6), The JC Tackleway II 6 (-7), Robertsbridge United II 3 (-13), Herstmonceux* 1 (0).
Division 4/5, Group A: Welcroft Park Rangers* 19pts (+20), Hooe 18 (+7), Hastings Comets 13 (+5), Sovereign Saints II 12 (+13), Hampden Park U23 9 (-7), Herstmonceux II 7 (-1), Wadhurst United II* 2 (-6), Sedlescombe Rangers development 1 (-31).
Group B: AFC Hollington II 21pts (+28), Battle Town III 18 (+21), Ticehurst* 16 (+7), Parkfield 11 (0), Icklesham Casuals 10 (+3), Orington 5 (-18), Magham Down 4 (-17), West Hill United* 3 (-7), Welcroft Park Rangers II 1 (-14). * = points adjusted.