Sunday League: High-flying Humberston reclaim top spot in style
HUMBERSTON geared up for this weekend's showdown against reigning champions Birds Eye Pelham by returning to the summit of the Grimsby, Cleethorpes & District Sunday League with a magnificent 7-1 victory.
Liam Davis bagged his first hat-trick for the table-toppers as they put Cromwell to the sword.
Rob Summers netted his first goal of the season when Humberston took the lead.
After Kirk Wheeler doubled the advantage, Louis Grant missed several chances and Roy Blain put Cromwell back in it by converting a penalty before half-time.
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Quick-thinking from a free-kick saw Davis notch his first goal.
Cromwell were then awarded another penalty, which was saved by Humberston's stand-in goalkeeper Paul Jones.
Davis then netted a header before wrapping up his maiden hat-trick in style, showing great vision and electric pace to notch his third.
Grant, the team's top-scorer, then got in on the act with two goals in a minute late on.
Lee Croft also netted a hat-trick in the top flight as his goals, along with Shane Garvie's brace, steered Empire United to a 5-1 victory at SW Steelers, for whom Luke Borrill was on target.
Wheatsheaf secretary Dean Boon says the team are attracting former top-flight players as they continue to make a name for themselves as Division Four high-flyers.
After winning division seven last season as Schooners, Wheatsheaf are four points clear at the top of the fourth tier after a 4-3 victory against RIS FC last Sunday.
Boon said: "It was a good game against RIS and something of a wake-up call for us.
"They probably caught us on an off day but we still managed to grind out a result."
RIS took the lead with a goal from Cameron Smyth following good work by Ben Goodman, Sean Smyth and Lyle Thorpe.
They had chances to go further in front but could not take them.
It was 1-1 at half time but Wheatsheaf came out quickly after the break and soon went 3-1 up.
Cam Smyth made it 3-2 but Wheatsheaf replied to restore their two-goal advantage.
Kyle French then pulled one back from the penalty spot for RIS to make it 4-3, but they were unable to recover the deficit.
On target for Wheatsheaf were Will Clifford, Andrew Lockwood, Carl Henry and Stuart Inch.
The leaders face mid-table Tap & Spile 2nds this weekend.
Boon said: "We must take nothing for granted as this game could go exactly like the last one and we do not want to be caught out.
"Our prolific scorer Neil Kirwin is out injured, but Will Clifford is also amongst the goals so we are not short of firepower.
"We have a good set of lads in what is a decent squad.
"We seem to be getting a name for ourselves for all the right reasons and are attracting players who have played in the top division."
Healing hit back from four goals down in a sensational second-half comeback to draw 4-4 with Tap & Spile in Division Two.
Former Grimsby Town Youth player Dan Freeman scored all four of Healing's goals, equalising from the penalty spot with the last kick of the match.
Grimsby Rovers claimed a scalp in Division Six by inflicting a first defeat of the season on leaders Spiders Web.
Dave Deane, Nathan Chandler, Ashley Leggett and an own goal saw Rovers run out 4-2 winners.
TWO great goals helped AFC Wybers climb to third spot in division two by leapfrogging BBS Couriers, who they beat 2-0.
Wybers secretary Ray Cuthbert praised the "cracking goals" from Kenny Sharpe and Leigh Cottingham that settled the tie.
The team's opponents on Sunday are struggling Immingham Town, who are second from bottom after a 1-1 draw with Caistor Rovers.
Cuthbert said: "We beat them 1-0 earlier in the season - they are not a bad side but are unlucky. Things are not running for them and they will be desperate for points to climb away from the drop zone. We will have a couple of regulars out but should be able to field a decent side which will be good enough to bag the points."
In Division Three, The Cricketers (Liam Cottam) drew 1-1 with Humberston Grosvenor (Malcolm Kitt). Deportivo Empire won 3-1 away to Buddies II FC (Luke Lapsley). Keelby Utd (Justin Wakefield, Chris Wild) drew 2-2 with East Trans Pelham (Mark Barber, Zane Cape).
Clee Community ESL (John Dunks 2, Thomas Stiff) won 3-1 away to Tower Bucharest in Division Four.
Sporting Saltire (James Bird, Benjamin Cooke) won 2-1 against AFC Waltham in Division Five – both teams have been commended for playing the game in an honest and fair manner without an appointed referee. Abatis Fire & Security (Luke Sargent 3, Sam Aisthorpe) beat Immingham County (Connor Ireland, Jonathan Walker) 4-2, Clee Motors (Brett Walton 3) won 3-2 against Healing 2nds (C Thornton, D Jackson), East Marsh Empire (Mark Gale, Jason Marshall, Ryan Woolliss, Brett Wherry) won 4-0 against Crows Nest 3rds while RER Haulage (Ben Cole, Richard Donner, Stuart Geddes, Simon Peck) just made it winning 4-3 against Redstar Old Boys (John Conroy, James Gibbs, Adam Gollings).
Elsewhere in Division Six, Winns FC drew 1-1 with Seachill Athletico (David Mathews). Ace Homecare (Carl Carroll 2) drew 2-2 with Electrical Appliance Grimsby FC with a similar result for the game between Kings Head Waltham (Dan Brown, Paul Hand) and The County (Andy Croucher, Jonathan Hobbs).
Division Seven leaders Abatis Athletic (Ben Cowdroy, Nick Lacey, Michael Marshall) won 3-0 against Clee Community ESL 2nds, Laceby Acres Utd (Liam Hanslip 2, Ashley Stephen 2, Simon Lancaster) won 5-2 against AFC Waltham 2nds, Advance Alarms (Scott Barber 4, Garry Summers 2) beat IFK Knottkoping 6-0, Laceby Arms (Sean Swinscoe, Chris West) won 2-1 away to FC Ntex (Craig Holland) and Pelham 1878 (Joel Bryson pen, Kyle Young, Chris Mills, Paul Hardie) won 4-1 away to Winns 2nds.