Steyning hit Midhurst for six to show their fine form was no flash in the pan

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Against the odds Steyning inflicted only a second home defeat of the season on Midhurst & Easebourne on Saturday.

And they did it in style with a 6-1 win which included a ten-minute hat-trick from Craig Knowles, despite both manager Richard Whittingham and assistant Tom Gurney being among only three substitutes.

Gurney said: “We turned up with effectively a bare 11 because of injuries and holidays, and facing a side fifth in the table on the back of a defeat to our local rivals (Storrington) we expected a tough afternoon. But to be honest we completely dominated and could have scored ten in the end.”

Steyning took the lead at the end of an even first half through an own goal, and Phil Williamson doubled the lead just after the break when he raced onto a ball over the top to send a deft lob over the home keeper.

Midhurst failed to learn their lesson and the visitors exploited the space in behind their defence to run riot thereafter.

All of Knowles’s three goals in the final ten minutes came from simple balls over the top, two from an angle and one a stabbed finish, and just before he completed his hat-trick with Steyning’s sixth of the day defender Alex Gathern scrambled home from a corner.

Coming after local rivals Storrington had ended their fine seven-game unbeaten run in midweek, it sets Steyning up for a busy end to their league season.

Town: Evans; Parsons, Gathern, Hourigan, Dawes; McMann, Harris, Knowles, De Freitas; Burton, Williamson.