Sussex County Football League Division One Review

Steve Davies’ stoppage time winner meant that table topping East Preston extended their lead to six points after beating the 10 men of AFC Uckfield 2-1 at The Lashmar. Matt Axell fired the hosts level after a goaless first half, before James Rhodes scored his first of the season for Uckfield but Davies’ late effort stole the points as Greg Manton saw red for his protests against the goal.

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Second-placed Ringmer could only take a point from their home match against Selsey after an entertaining 2-2 draw. Dan Towers put Selsey ahead, before former Manchester United Reserves player Marc Whiteman equalized four minutes before the break, but it was Selsey who held a lead going into half time through Rob Wimble. It proved a tough day for the sides at the top of the table, as Peacehaven & Telscombe had to come from behind to draw against Dorking Wanderers at Piddinghoe Avenue. Craig Duffell’s first goal of the season broke the deadlock before half time, but Ashley Jones’ second half effort denied Dorking a surprise result.

Rye United succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at Hassocks. Phil Gault opened the scoring for the Robins before Andy Atkin’s equalizer just before the interval. Gault’s strike 15 minutes from time was then followed by Nathan Miles’ effort as Hassocks made it 5 league games unbeaten, lifting them to 7th with 16 points. Rye’s loss allowed Redhill to climb to fourth, as Leo Atkinson’s 10th minute strike was all that separated them from Shoreham at Kiln Brow.

Meanwhile at the foot of the table, Worthing United remain winless after a 3-1 reverse at home to Hailsham Town, who picked up their second win of the season. Tom Donnelly had put United ahead just after half time, but goals from Dean Stevens, Jamie Salvidge and Danny Leach lift Hailsham above local rivals AFC Uckfield to 18th.  St. Francis Rangers picked up their first three points of the season with a surprise win at Arundel. Alex Biggs gave the Mullet’s the lead going into the break, but three goals in 10 second half minutes courtesy of Charlie Romain (2) and former Brighton & Hove Albion player Geoff Pitcher stunned the hosts and gave Rangers a valuable three points.

Martin Gander’s Lancing are sixth after a comprehensive victory at Crowborough Athletic, who saw Chris Ransome sent off for two bookable offences. Dan Turner got the ball rolling for the visitors just six minutes in, before Darren Boswell fired in his fifth league goal of the campaign after half time. Grant Philpott completed the rout in stoppage time in front of 111 at the Crowborough Community Stadium.

East Grinstead Town upset the odds as they secured their second league win of the season at Nyetimber Lane as they came from behind to beat Pagham 2-1. After Joe Briggs put The Lions ahead, goals from George Hillier and Sam Cane (his third of the season) lifted The Wasps to 15th with 8 points.

Elsewhere in the County, Chris Agutter’s late equalizer completed Sidley United’s come back at Chichester. After going two goals down through Dan Watts and Harry Dye, United bounced back and Agutter added to an earlier strike from Alan McMinigal to share the points. Finally, Lingfield overcame Horsham YMCA 3-2 at the Sports Pavilion as Daryl Coleman netted a brace, which was also added to by Freddie Fleming. Martin Smith and Dean Cox replied for the visitors, who lie in 16th and have lost their last three league games.

– Anthony Scott

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