In-form Steyning stun Eastbourne Utd

Deadly duo. Hat-trick hero Craig Knowles is congratulated by Phil Williamson, who was also on target
Deadly duo. Hat-trick hero Craig Knowles is congratulated by Phil Williamson, who was also on target

Steyning boss Richard Whittington says he was not surprised by his side’s shock 4-0 win over promotion-chasing Eastbourne United.

Craig Knowles hit a hat-trick and Phil Williamson netted the other as Town recorded four straight league wins for the first time in five years.

It was the first time this season that third-placed Eastbourne had failed to score in a league game.

Whittington said: “I’m sure the result would have surprised a few people but it didn’t surprise me.

“We have been playing so well lately that I genuinely think we can beat anyone in this division.

“Earlier in the season we lacked consistency but we have that now as the players are producing the goods week after week.

“Things have really clicked into place, the players know the way we want to play and there is a fantastic team spirit.”

Knowles had scored in the final minute of the previous three games but he took only 11 minutes to add to his tally this time.

He beat the offside trap to race onto a through ball by Michael Page and finished coolly under pressure from a defender.

Town had to weather spells of pressure by the visitors before Knowles doubled the lead on the hour.

The United goalkeeper failed to get enough power on an attempted clearance and Knowles pounced on the loose ball to send a delightful 20 yard lob over the hapless stopper and into the unguarded net.

Eastbourne poured forward after that in an attempt to get back into the game, but the tactic backfired as Town added two more goals in the last five minutes.

Williamson notched up his 21st goal of the season with a composed finish after being sent clear, before Knowles sealed his hat-trick with another late strike to chalk up his 17th of the campaign.

Prior to the four-game winning streak Town had won just three league games.

This latest win sees Whittington’s side up to 11th in Division 2, and on Saturday they travel to 12th placed Seaford Town looking to make it five wins on the spin.

Town: Evans, Parsons, Mills, Gathern, Hourigan, McMahon (Dawes 89), Page (Aslan 70), Harris, Knowles, Williamson.