Football: Clarke punishes wasteful Rusthall

Lee Colyer

RUSTHALL were given a harsh lesson that in the Premier Division of the Southern Counties East League, if you give the ball away too often you will be punished.

This was especially the case when opponents have a winger with the pace and ability of Louis Clarke, who bagged a hat-trick.

Corinthian looked to find Clarke at every opportunity and he gave the Rustics an early warning when he hit the post after seven minutes.

Steph Harper had a chance to give the visitors the lead in the 12th minute but his right-footed strike from just outside the box was well held by keeper Aiden Prall.

On 19 minutes the hosts took a deserved lead as Clarke raced on to an interception and expertly slotted past Joe Cullip in the Rusthall goal.

The home side were now in control and Cullip kept the Rustics in the game on 33 minutes when he bravely dived at the feet of Conor Johnson.

Just three minutes after the restart Clarke scored his second, which was almost a carbon copy of his first. And it was no surprise when Clarke completed his hat-trick on 69 minutes.

Corinthian added two more goals in stoppage time through Ryan Savage and Donvieve Jones. To add to the misery Rusthall lost Harper after a clash of heads.

Rusthall’s squad is looking thin after the loss of three players and with two more at university.

But John Phillips, who was injured in pre–season came through 70 minutes in the reserves.

The battered Rustics must now pick themselves up of the first round proper of the FA Vase on Saturday (October 21) at home to Epsom & Ewell (kick-off 3pm).

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