Simmonds hits hat-trick as Wick sink Hailsham

Dan Simmonds struck a hat-trick in Wick's win on Saturday. Picture: Stephen Goodger
Dan Simmonds struck a hat-trick in Wick's win on Saturday. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Dan Simmonds hit a hat-trick as Wick Football Club continued their excellent form with victory at home to struggling Hailsham on Saturday.

The win increased Wick’s unbeaten run to four games and moved them up a place to 16th in the Southern Combination League Premier Division – and boss Lee Baldwin is delighted with their recent form.

The return of Simmonds, who now has five goals in three games, has helped Wick’s form pick up and Baldwin said: “We’ve now lost just one of our past six games, which is unbelievable for us, really.

“We’ve got a good team now though and hopefully we can keep everyone together. If we can keep winning games, we’ll drag more teams into the mix as it’s so tight at the bottom. All we can do is focus on ourselves and win our games against the teams in and around us.”

On Simmonds’ treble, Baldwin said: “He wasn’t very good on Saturday by his own standards and he openly said that but he still scored a hat-trick. That’s the difference between him and other strikers in the league. He’ll still score goals when he’s not at his best and it’s great to have him here.”

Wick took the lead after just four minutes on Saturday when Rob Hutchings played in Simmonds, who fired home.

Ash Harper got the second from Andy Chick’s cross on 22 minutes, before Hailsham got a goal back through Hallum Cousins six minutes later after Wick overplayed at the back. Wick restored their two-goal advantage six minutes before half-time when they broke down the right and Charlie Williamson played in Simmonds to notch his second.

Bottom-of-the-table Hailsham, who have just four points from 23 games now this season, started the second half brightly and were awarded a penalty following a Williamson foul on the hour.

However, the spot-kick was struck against the bar and Wick added a fourth on 70 minutes when Hutchings crossed for substitute Joe Gromett to score.

Simmonds then completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, after he was fouled following a mazy run, on 79 minutes.

Baldwin said: “Three centre-forwards all scored for us which is great as it’s something we’ve lacked all season. It’s good to have the competition for places and it is a nice headache for me to have.

“We went in 3-1 up at half-time but they were the better side for the first ten to 15 minutes of the second half.

“However their missed penalty woke us up. When you’re down the bottom and not winning games, that penalty probably goes in but we’ve been on a good run and got that little bit of luck.”

Wick’s next game is at Loxwood on January 21.

WICK: Boughton; Williamson, A.Brown, Playle-Howard, Cox; Chick, Nonle, R.Brown, Hutchings; Harper, Simmonds. Subs: Gromett (Harper 65), Eyres (Cox 75), Brazil (Simmonds 86), Ediker, Hallett.

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