By Anthony Scott
Shoreham missed the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Macron Store Southern Combination Premier Division table after being held to a draw by Eastbourne Town.
With only five fixtures scheduled in the top division, the Mussels lead Haywards Heath Town by two points with a game in hand having drawn 2-2 with the Saffrons side.
After a goalless first half, Evan Archibald gave John Lambert’s side the lead at Middle Road. However, the hosts scored twice in seven minutes to go in front, with Joe Dryer and then Rob O’Toole on target. Despite that, Aaron Capon put Town back on level terms moments later to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Chichester City are five points behind Shoreham in third spot after coming from behind twice before eventually seeing off Hassocks at Oaklands Park.
Michael Death and then James Westlake were on target either side of Scott Jones’ effort to give the Robins the lead on two occasions, but only for Keiran Hartley, Dan Watts and then Jones to all score and give Miles Rutherford’s men a 4-2 win.
Broadbridge Heath recovered from back-to-back defeats to win at Arundel. Harry Russell had put second-bottom Arundel ahead, only for a brace from Jake Holmes to give the Bears a 2-1 win – a win that moves them up to sixth spot.
Wick have fallen into the bottom three as a result of their defeat at Loxwood and Worthing United winning at Hailsham Town.
Dan Simmonds had cancelled out Max Bickell’s opener to see Lee Baldwin’s side level at the break at Plaistow Road, only for Ollie Gill, Byron Napper and then Charlie Pitcher to score in the second half and give Loxwood a convincing 4-1 win.
At the Beaconsfield, Simon Funnell’s men moved out of the bottom three after a 3-0 win at bottom of the table Hailsham.
Tadley Bromage, Alfie Gritt and then Paul Elliott were on target for the Mavericks for a much-needed win against Dave Shearing’s side, who stay on four points.
In Division One, it’s as you were at the top end of the table after the top six all won.
Saltdean United stay a point clear of East Preston after coming from behind to win at Billingshurst. Paul White had given the hosts a 12th-minute lead at Jubilee Fields, only for Danny Turner, Andy McDowell and new signing Ryan Warwick to score for Damian Freeman’s men in a 3-1 win.
East Preston kept the pressure on the Tigers after cruising to a 5-0 win against bottom of the table Ringmer. Joshua Etherington scored twice in the second half for EP, after Jacob Parazo and Ryan Hallett goals had put the hosts on course for victory. Connor Bull then completed the scoring in stoppage time for Bob Paine’s men.
Little Common are hot on the heels of the top two having thrashed Langney Wanderers, 7-1, at the Rec. Wes Tate scored a hat-trick for Russell Eldridge’s side, with Jamie Crone scoring twice. Thomas Climpson had given Common the lead, with Lewis Hole completing the scoring for the hosts. Paul Weatherby was on target for Andy Goodchild’s side in the second period, but it was nothing more than a consolation.
After three defeats in a row in all competitions, Steyning Town returned to winning ways at AFC Varndeanians. Ross Adams scored twice in the first eleven minutes to put the visitors in the driving seat, only for Ahmed Shaker to half the deficit before the break. However, Charlie Romain restored the two goal lead for Gerry Murphy’s side in the second half to give them a 3-1 win.
Michael Gould and Joseph Benn both scored twice for Mile Oak as they came from a goal down to win at home to Oakwood. Jordan Mace had given Mark Gilbert’s side the lead in the first half, only for Oak to bounce back to win all three points and stay level on points with Little Common in third.
Seaford Town move above Oakwood to 13th after producing a great comeback to win at St. Francis Rangers. Simon Boddie’s side looked on course for three points after goals from Stephano Guagliome and Stuart Goodwin had put them two goals to the good with just eighteen minutes to go. However, the double change of Casey Ham and Joey Pout proved influential for the visitors, with Pout scoring his second goal of the game to equalise two minutes from time before the midfielder headed home a winner in stoppage time for Scott Osborn’s side.
The ever-green Gary Norgate stunned Bexhill United as Midhurst & Easebourne ran out impressive 4-2 winners against the Pirates at Rotherfield. Norgate scored a second half hat-trick, with Lewis Hamilton also on target for the Stags, who came from 2-0 down after Gordon Cuddington and Connor Robertson efforts looked to had put Ryan Light’s side on course for victory.
Elsewhere, Joe Manners and Bradley Dean goals gave Selsey a 2-0 win at home to Southwick, whilst Lingfield stay in sixth spot despite winning at Storrington. George Gomez got the only goal of the game just before the hour at Storrington Rec to give managerless Lingfield a 1-0 win.
With Bosham and Sidlesham in Intermediate Cup action, Jarvis Brook missed the opportunity to close the gap on the table-topping Robins after losing at fourth-place Lancing United in Division Two. Neil Munday, Mark O’Regan and Josie Stakim were all on target in the second half for the hosts, who won 3-2 at the Croshaw Ground.
Upper Beeding move up to fifth after an emphatic win against bottom of the table Ferring. Harry Smith scored six of his side’s 17 goals at the Glebelands, which included a hat-trick in the first eight minutes. Adam Skinner, Tim Tapscott, Jack Whittington and Dan Clayton all scored twice, with further goals from Kieron Stevens, Nathaniel Rowland and substitute Ian Bond for the visitors.
Montpelier Villa move above Rustington in the table after beating the Blues at Sussex University. Eddie Noel, Tod Brennan, Simon Whitney, Ben Thasarathar and an own goal gave the hosts a big 5-2 win.
In the division’s other game, Steve Kirkham scored twice to help Worthing Town Leisure win 4-0 against Rottingdean Village. Lloyd Carter and Charlie Gay were also on target for the hosts at Palentine Park.