By Anthony Scott
The gap at the top of the Southern Combination Football League table remains at two points after both Shoreham and Haywards Heath Town won on their travels in the latest round of fixtures.
With just eight league games to go, Shoreham stay top of the table after a comfortable 4-0 win at Wick. Goals from Luke Donaldson, Rob O’Toole and Adam Kneller put the Mussels on their way to a three goal lead at the break, before Kieron Pamment added a fourth late on in the second half.
Shaun Saunders’ side, meanwhile, edged a seven-goal thriller at Crawley Down Gatwick. Marc Pelling gave the Anvils an early lead, only for an own goal and a brace from Luc Doherty to put Heath 3-1 up. Heath’s Max Miller then cancelled out Dan Sullivan’s effort to preserve their two-goal lead, with Pelling’s second goal of the game proving to be in vein.
Chichester City are only five points behind Shoreham after Josh Clack’s goal just before half-time was enough to give them a 1-0 win at home to AFC Uckfield Town.
Pagham lead the race for fourth after a 4-0 win over Hailsham Town, whose relegation was confirmed as a result of the defeat. George Cody and Scott Murfin put the Lions two goals ahead at the break, with youngsters Matt Ryan and Scott Rafferty completing the scoring for Mark Bennett’s side.
George Gaskin’s late goal saw Littlehampton Town earn a point at home to Newhaven. Mark Goldson had put the Golds ahead in the first half, but two goals in three minutes from former Town player George Landais put Newhaven ahead. However, they couldn’t hold out for all three points with Gaskin scoring in the fourth minute of added time.
Conor Wilkins scored twice to give Peacehaven & Telscombe a big win against Worthing United at the Unibet Arena, with Mark Shutt’s side winning 2-1, whilst an own goal gave Eastbourne Town a 1-0 win at managerless Loxwood.
Mike Williamson, Will Berry and Lewis Finney goals saw Lancing come from behind to win against Arundel. Dion Jarvis had put the relegation-threatened Mullets ahead at Culver Road, only to lose 3-1.
Hassocks moved seven points clear of the bottom three after a 1-0 win against Horsham YMCA. Liam Benson scored the only goal of the game ten minutes from time at the Beacon.
There was also a late goal at the Oval, where Eastbourne United beat Broadbridge Heath in the division’s other game. After an extra time defeat in the Peter Bentley Cup semi-finals in midweek, the Bears kept out the hosts until fifteen minutes from time when Adam Davidson got on the end of an inviting Scott Chamberlain free-kick.
East Preston moved top of the Division One table with seven games to go after winning their game in hand on Saltdean United.
Ryan Hallett gave EP a first half lead at Billingshurst, before late goals from Jack Barnes and Lukas Franzen-Jones saw Bob Paine’s side win 3-0 at Jubilee Fields.
With Little Common and Mile Oak not playing, Steyning Town failed to take an opportunity to move into the top three after drawing at Storrington. Chad Milner had given Gerry Murphy’s side the lead at Storrington Rec, but Iain Jarvie’s effort earned the Swans a share of the spoils.
Lingfield’s mini-revival under Dixie Dean continued with a comfortable win against Southwick. Matt Burroughs, David Dean, Ben Connolly and an own goal helped the hosts run out 4-1 winners at the Sports Pavilion.
Gordon Cuddington scored twice for Bexhill United as they inflicted a heavy defeat on Selsey at the Polegrove. Georges Gouet and David Pugh were also on target, with Corey Wheeler completing the scoring in a 5-0 rout for the Pirates.
Ringmer stay bottom of the table despite earning a point against Seaford Town. After going behind to Beckham Pout’s early goal, Jack Webber and Chris Geer strikes saw the Blues go into the break 2-1 up. However, they couldn’t hold on to all three points with George Rudwick earning Seaford a point with a goal midway through the second half.
Elsewhere, St. Francis Rangers are only off the bottom on goal difference after losing 1-0 at Oakwood. Lee Wragg got the only goal of the game in the first half.
In the division’s other game, Anthony Kirby scored twice to help Midhurst & Easebourne beat third-bottom AFC Varndeanians, 3-0, at Rotherfield.
In Division Two, Jarvis Brook kept alive their hopes of a top two spot after beating league leaders Bosham in another thrilling game between the two sides, with Brook completing a league double over the Robins.
Rob Gordon’s side came from behind twice to win at Limekiln, with Alex Barnes and Graeme Dowden twice putting the Robins ahead in front of a crowd of 93.
However, Daniel Lawrence drew Brook level the first time before two goals in the final five minutes from Daryl King and Luke Leppard saw the hosts win 3-2, with Matt Docherty seeing red for Andy Probee’s side.
Sidlesham stay a point behind Jarvis Brook, but have two games in hand, after winning 1-0 at Montpelier Villa. Tom Bayley got the only goal of the game just before the interval.
Lancing United stay in fourth spot after winning at Cowfold. In an entertaining game, Grant Thetford, Mark O’Regan and Josie Stakim all scored twice for the visitors in a 6-3 win, despite Cowfold coming from behind to draw level on three occasions.
Roffey ran out comfortable winners at bottom of the table Ferring. Adam Wicking scored a hat-trick, with Ben Brooker, Gavin Fowler, Jack Munday and David Major also on target in the 7-0 win at the Glebelands.
Rottingdean Village moved up the table after a 4-2 win against Alfold. Mike Damario scored a hat-trick for the hosts, with Sam Cooper also on target in the win.
In the division’s other game, Alex Townley scored twice after Harry Smith opened the scoring for Upper Beeding as they beat Westfield, 3-1 at the Memorial Playing Field.