Free-scoring Rustington move top of the table

Josh Irish netted five times in Rustington's emphatic win over Brighton Electricity. Picture: Stephen Goodger
Josh Irish netted five times in Rustington's emphatic win over Brighton Electricity. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Rustington reached 100 goals for the season with a crushing 8-4 SCFL Division 2 victory at struggling Brighton Electricity at the Withdean Stadium.

Josh Irish took his tally to 25 league strikes this season, finding the net five times as Blues moved back top of the table.

Krzysztof Paraficz, Declan Jenkins and Chris Darwin completed the scoring, ensuring Rustington made the most of Angmering Seniors’ slip-up against Westfield to go two points clear at the summit.

It’s been a remarkable start to life as a manager for Kerry Hardwell.

Since taking charge in the summer Rustington have embarked on a 21-game unbeaten run this season, scoring 100 times in that time.

The club, who won the double under Jon Tucker last term, remain in with the chance of the treble.

But Hardwell believes his team can still improve as they bid to make it a season to remember.

“People will think I’m being harsh on the lads but this was a perfect opportunity for the lads to keep a clean sheet, something that has eluded us this month,” Hardwell said.

“After last week’s brilliant performance, we travelled with nine players missing through injury or unavailability.

“However, our first-half performance was fantastic. The boys dominated the whole half and did exactly what was asked of them.

“A lack of concentration in the second half saw us concede four goals, two of which were penalties.”

Striker Irish hit a hat-trick in 27 first-half minutes with Paraficz also striking as Blues led 4-0 at the break.

Irish had another two within 20 minutes of the restart, firing Rustington 6-0 ahead.

However Blues failed to keep a rare clean sheet as the hosts hit four in the final 23 minutes. Brighton Electricity pulled is back to 7-4 before Darwin wrapped things up for Rustington with five minutes left.

Rustington travel to rivals Littlehampton United on Saturday.

RUSTINGTON: Nash; Beaney, Gilchrist, John, R.Miles, Llewellyn, Jenkins, Paraficz, Ryder, Irish, Darwin. Subs: Bennett, O’Connor, Peters, Hardwell.

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