Butler serves up treble

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RYHOPE CW maintained their pursuit of Wearside League leaders Stockton Town by hitting hapless visitors Hartlepool for six last night.

Martin Swales’ side scored three times in each half to complete a resounding 6-0 victory.

John Butler set the tone with his seventh-minute strike and before half an hour was on the clock, Chris Winn and Nathan O’Neil (penalty) also found the net.

There was no respite for Pool in the second half either. Prolific scorer Butler completed a hat-trick and Winn hit his second goal of the night.

Ryhope have now racked up an amazing 41 goals in only nine games, while conceding just four times.

But they remain five points behind Stockton, albeit with a game in hand.

Ashbrooke Belford House failed to prevent Stockton from making it 10 wins on the bounce at Silksworth.

The Wearsiders, though, belied their lowly position and held the Teessiders until the 68th minute when Stephen Roberts finally broke the deadlock, beating Belford goalkeeper Brett Wilson.

The home side pushed forward searching for an equaliser, but their hopes of saving the game just about ended when Kallum Hannah struck the second crucial goal 12 minutes from time.

Stockton, who won 12 games on the trot at the end of last season, lead the table by five points from Ryhope.

After trailing by three goals to Callum Munro (2) and Scott Heslop (penalty), Horden CW just failed to claim a point against Annfield Plain.

Two goals in as many minutes from Peter Crawford had the visitors on the back foot, but the Colliers were unable to find an equaliser in the last seven minutes and Plain held on to win 3-2.

Boldon CA left it late before defeating Easington Colliery by the odd goal. Mark Williams, making his seasonal debut, set up Gary Evans, who rounded goalkeeper Adam Heath for Boldon’s opener on 40 minutes.

Early in the second period, Brett Gillat netted for Easington, but, with seven minutes remaining, David Carson hit Boldon’s winner.

Harton and Westoe have now conceded 33 goals – more than any other side – after losing 3-0 to third-top Cleator Moor, whose marksmen were Ryan Hall, Adam Telford and Leigh Dunn.