Hand nets a hat-trick as Golds hit EP for six

Mitchell Hand celebrates with George Gaskin at Shoreham on Saturday
Mitchell Hand celebrates with George Gaskin at Shoreham on Saturday

Mitchell Hand hit a hat-trick as Littlehampton Town Football Club cruised to a 6-2 away success at Southern Combination League Premier Division rivals East Preston this afternoon.

Rob Hutchings bagged a brace, while Sam Leggatt also netted, to add to Hand’s three, and give Golds a second win in just two days.

George Gaskin’s side ran out 3-1 winners at Shoreham on Saturday and a fine free-flowing display ensured they saw off near neighbours EP just 48 hours later.

Kick-off in this one was delayed by 15 minutes as excess water had to be cleared from the surface.

EP should have gone ahead on 21 minutes but an unmarked Lee Mottershead headed over George Laughlin’s fine free-kick from just six yards.

Golds made them pay for that miss with two goals in as many minutes.

First, Hutchings sent Hand in behind and he slotted past Purkis, then confusion between Louis Coulson and Purkis let Hutchings in for the easiest of tap-ins.

A fine first 30 minutes was then rounded off as Hutchings headed home Hand’s cross but Dan Huet’s neat turn and finish two minutes into first half stoppage-time gave EP some hope.

However, Hand got his second on 70 minutes, before Leggatt’s first time finish five minutes from time all but ended the contest.

Mottershead’s deflected strike beat Jon Hendrick a minute later, before Hand completed his hat-trick on 90 minutes as Golds romped to an easy success.

EAST PRESTON: Purkis; Kelly, Atterbury, Coulson, Cockerton; Bassett, Pittock, Mottershead; Huet, Harding. Subs: Woodward, John (Coulson), Jenkins (Bassett), Amoo (Kelly), Griffiths.

LITTLEHAMPTON: Hendrick; Wiggans, McKay, Bates, Packer; Pearce, Ball; Leggatt, M.Hand, Hutchings; Gaskin. Subs: Amoo (McKay), Askew.

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