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Malcolm Boyes14 Apr - 09:04
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The relegation place has been confirmed but the title is still vacant - just.

The battle for play off positions continues.
The battle for the title is not mathematically over yet, however the main focus now for Newhaven, Eastbourne Town, Crowborough Athletic (the only club that can catch leaders Steyning Town) and Hassocks is who will finish in positions 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Positions 2 and 3 will play at home in the semi-finals against 5 and 4 in that order and the highest placed winner of those semi-finals will be at home in the final, so the higher you finish, the more advantage you might have.

As for the action on Saturday:
AFC Uckfield Town lost 4-2 at home to Midhurst & Easebourne, a result that confirmed what most people had thought for a while that they were favourites to be relegated. They did lead during the match, 1-0 and 2-1 but couldn’t hold on for the win.
Montgomery and Wright scored for the Uckers, whilst the visitors goals were scored by Rustell (2), Hamilton and Sheriff.

Bexhill United lost 2-1 at home to Crawley Down Gatwick who have hit a bit of form currently as the season comes to a close, Schaaf and the in-form Leslie were their scorers. Samways scored for the Pirates from a free kick on the edge of the area in front of 184 fans.

Eastbourne Town have been on a fantastic run of form of late and a 4-0 home win against Horsham YMCA kept that momentum going and it would be fair to say that they are probably the side all the others will not want to play in the semi-finals.
Goals from Hull (2), Jenkins and Davies secured the points in front of 238 spectators.

Haywards Heath Town, with only a slim chance of making the play offs prior to their home game against AFC Varndeanians saw those slim hopes disappear altogether as they ended up losing 1-0, Overy scoring the all important goal for the visitors in front of 356 spectators, many of whom would have gone home disappointed that the play offs have gone for 23/24.

Next up it is Lingfield v Little Common which ended a win for the home side by 3 goals to 2. Scott and McLean scoring for the visitors, both in the first half after being 2-0 down early on, as Williams and Wilford scored very early for the Lingers.
Even the winning goal for Lingfield was scored early in the second half, after 48 minutes, by Richardson, a result which sees both sides occupy the so called mid-table positions.

Loxwood v Eastbourne United Association finished 2-0 to the visitors, Hull put them 1-0 at half time and a second half strike by Ratcliffe secured all three points. United may be disappointed to have not made the play offs but they are in a period of rebuilding at the moment behind the scenes so they made a good effort in 23/24.

The big game of the day saw title hopefuls Newhaven and Steyning Town play each other at Fort Road and it was the Barrowmen who almost secured the title with an emphatic 4-0 win in front of 504 expectant fans.
The home side have not been great starters at home of late and this match proved no different, as the Dockers found themselves 3-0 down at the break as Shooman scored after 23 minutes, Goldson then made it 2-0 in the 36th minute and then Shooman scored his second and their third in the 45th minute.
The deficit proved too much for the Dockers this time though and Weller scored a fourth goal in the 71st minute to seal a fine win for the Barrowmen. With AFC Uckfield Town to play at home in their last fixture, the title is almost there and having been everyone’s favourites at the start of the campaign, they have not disappointed.

The only side that stands a mathematical chance of overtaking the Barrowmen at the moment, Crowborough Athletic, saw them travel to play Pagham in what was a must win game to keep those title hopes alive.
On a bobbly pitch and with a strong wind blowing, the match was not a classic but a second half double by Crows striker Murrain, a shot after 56 minutes and a header in the 84th minute, proved enough to give the Crows all three points in front of 179 spectators.

Saltdean United played hosts to play off placed Hassocks and ended up winning what seems like a very exciting game by 4 goals to 3, with 145 people watching.
Saltdean went 1-0 up, Damario the scorer, then they found themselves 2-1 down as Gunn scored for Hassocks in the 23rd minute and Fatela scored his first for them in the 35th minute. However, that was not the end of the first half goals as the home side equalised in the 39th minute, Whitmore the scorer.
The second half proved no less exciting as the Robins made it 3-2 when Troake scored but back came the home side when Middleton volleyed home in the 66th minute. The winner came from Damario, his second of the game, in the 88th minute, a superb win for the home side.

The last game on the list saw Shoreham, once candidates for relegation themselves, host Peacehaven & Telscombe and the match finished 1-1, the visitors goal was scored by Cook in the 55th minute, whilst the home goal, which gave them the lead, was scored by Howell.

That’s a wrap for this Saturday review.

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