Robins quick off mark but then have to wait to see off struggling visitors

phil gault on the charge
phil gault on the charge

Hassocks made it three wins from three against the bottom three as Saturday’s win took them second in the table and put them joint top scorers with East Grinstead.

The visitors had seen virtually their entire squad walk out on them earlier in the season and along with Worthing United, look nailed on to return to Division 2 after two years.

That being said, no-one at the Beacon could have expected the explosive start as Robins scored after only 14 seconds. Straight from the kick off, Anthony Hibbert fed Jamie Weston and he moved forward before whipping in a perfect cross for Phil Gault to head home unchallenged.

That was the quickest goal any Hassocks fan in attendance could recall but if they thought that would soon open the floodgates, they were surprised as Simon Lehkyj had to pull off a fine one-on-one save five minutes later and on the half hour mark Chris Gould equalised with an unstoppable bicycle kick .

The scores were level for just seven minutes, however, before Gault latched onto a woeful back header from Lewis Baker and rifled in a first-time volley that left James Broadbent with no chance.

A third goal came before the break when James Westlake’s deep corner posed problems before skipper Stuart Faith scrambled the ball home.

Ten minutes into the second period it was 4-1 as a clever drag back by Gault set up Westlake to finish with aplomb.

The enigmatic Gault comp-leted his third hat-trick of the season on 64 minutes when he rose to meet a perfect cross by Westlake, who was released by sub Elliott Butler.

After that the game ebbed and flowed as, to their credit, Uckfield continued to battle hard. James Smith was unlucky to see his effort from a Dan Hardy pull back rattle the bar but there was one more goal in the Robins and they saved the best until last.

Kieran O’Callaghan brought a Chris Maynard volley under control on his chest, flicked the ball over a defender and fired home on the volley.

Hassocks: Lehkyj; South, Marsh, Faith (Johnson, 76), Maynard; Westlake, Cooper (Butler, 62), Hibbert (Miles, 38), O’Callaghan, Weston; Gault.

Middy Starman: Phil Gault, third hat-trick of the season.