Pearce pierces Mile Oak defences for a Midhurst hat-trick

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Another good win in Sussex League division two - thanks to Ollie Pearce’s hat-trick - brought three points to Midhurst and provided manager Gary Wheatcroft with an example of the versatility of his squad.

It was a great day for Ollie Pearce, while Lewis Hamilton and Gary Norgate also scored in the 5-3 win at Mile Oak.

Mile Oak had lost only once so Midhurst knew this would be a tough test.

Midhurst, though, are improving each game and are now one of the teams others are

tipping to be champions or close to it.

The first 20 minutes saw Midhurst well on top and Luke Sheldrick had a cleanly-hit shot pushed behind by Arron Cannings.

Ryan Pretlove and Keiron Howard seized on hesitancy in the Midhurst defence and keeper Ian Knight was unable to prevent an opening goal.

Three mintes later a rash tackle by Nick Lansdale resulted in a free-kick from which Hamilton gave Cannings no chance.

A surprise strike by Paul Eaton brought the score to 2-1 in favour of the home side - but after half-time the Stags were much sharper.

Sheldrick was replaced by Michael Asare and his extra turn of speed was soon causing problems.

On the hour Pearce worked himself into a goalscoring position to equalise, then a well-hit pass by James Dreckman set up Pearce to make it 3-2.

Kevin White was replaced by Lawrence Hyde before Pearce completed his hat-trick, and when captain Norgate’s shot beat Cannings, it was 5-2 with only minutes left.

Eaton reduced the deficit late on.

MIDHURST: Knight, Glue, White, Dummer, O’Leary, Angell, Sheldrick, Pearce, Hamilton, Norgate, Dreckman. Subs: Asare, Hyde, Farr.

On Saturday Midhurst visit Ringmer for a John O’Hara Cup match with a midday kick-off.

Midhurst reserves beat Hurstpierpoint 2-0 at Rotherfield with goals from Dean Hilton and Keith Gilkerson.

This week they host Arundel (3pm).

TED DUMMER