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BISHOP’S STORTFORD 4 WHITEHAWK 2

celeb v whJamie Cureton struck his first hat-trick for Stortford and took his career tally to 350 as Blues dominated against the Brighton-based side and moved up to sixth in the Bostik League table.

Cureton’s third strike took him to the 350 mark and was a sublime effort that was worthy of a higher stage.

There were a couplea9 of changes in Blues’ starting eleven with Isaac Nkosi returning and Chris Gregan dropping to the bench. Nick Brown was unavailable due to illness.

The Blues started slowly with keeper Calum Kitscha parrying away a shot from the Hawks Connor Tighe at the near post in the 8th minute. However, Ryan Charles struck a long range rising effort over the bar in the 11th minute and a minute later Stortford went in front as Cureton  collected Jack Thomas’ through ball and lifted it over the advancing keeper Melvin Minter,

a6The hosts remained on top and Luke Callander almost broke clear to shoot at goal but was denied by a last-ditch tackle to force a corner. Then Charles fired wide after a long run from midfield whilst Alfie Mason had a header held by Minter. In the 28th minute Minter did well to save from Ryan Charles following a low cross from the right by Callander. The lead was doubled shortly afterwards in the 32nd minute when Cureton  cut in from the left and finished with an angled shot into the far corner.

a7The Blues’ number nine nearly completed his hat-trick two minutes later after Minter beat away his shot on the run and then, three minutes from the interval, a cross from Charles skipped through the six yard box with no one getting a touch.

Stortford soon took control again on the restart and an excellent attacking move ended in the 51st minute with Cureton finding space to fire a shot just wide of the far upright. The third goal wasn’t long in coming after that. In lcthe 56th minute Cureton’s shot on the turn was saved by Minter but the ball ran loose to Callander who shot into an empty net.

The former Heybridge Swifts striker almost netted again three minutes later but Minter kept his shot out with his legs.

a3Hawks’ Nathaniel Pinney shot over Kitscha’s bar with a free-kick but Stortford came back with Mason, Cureton and Callander all going close to extending the lead.

The hosts’ fourth goal came twenty minutes from the end and it was fitting that Cureton’s landmark goal was a superb effort. Collecting a pass forward from Isaac Nkosi on the left flank, a good 30 yards out, he struck a perfect volley over the top of Minter into the far corner..

The Brighton based side rallied and struck twice in the closing ten minutes. A back-header from Blues defender Ryan Henshaw meant for Calum Kitscha sailed over the keeper and struck the bar with Pinney netting the rebound.

Pinney quick;y doubled his tally with a great shot on the turn from the edge of the box that flew into the top corner in the 83rd minute,

a4But that was as good as it got for the visitors and just before the end of normal time Blues substitute Olly Miles had a good effort held by Hawks stopper Minter.

STORTFORD: Calum Kitscha; Isaac Nkosi; Ben Sampayo; Jack Thomas (Jordan Wescott 81); Sam Robbins; Ryan Henshaw; Alfie Mason; Johnville Renee; Jamie Cureton; Luke Callander (Olly Miles 71); Ryan Charles (Hector Kyprianou 55).

Unused substitute: Chris Gregan.

WHITEHAWK: Melvin Minter; Fintan Walsh; Tommy Cooney (Lewis Broughton 84); Matt Drage; Sinn Kaye Christie; Ed Sanders (Lewis Unwin 71); Henry Muggeridge; Luke Emberson; Nathaniel Pinney; James Fraser (Anesu Sisimayi 71); Connor Tighe.

Unused substitutes: Aaron Goode and Leon Moore.

Referee: Abigail Marriott

Attendance: 311