New Milton back to winning ways after Long hat-trick against East Cowes Victoria
Wessex Division One
New Milton Town FC 4
East Cowes Victoria FC 2
NEW Milton Town's top-scorer Chris Long blasted a superb hat-trick to lead his side to a 4-2 home win over East Cowes Victoria.
Luke Stone scored the other goal as Paul Turner's side returned to winning ways after their five-game winning streak was snapped by Folland Sports.
The match kicked off in a cagey manner, with both sides struggling to gain control of the game. However, New Milton carried the more significant threat, with Tyler Rudd and Stone forcing saves from Vics keeper Will Hunt.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the 35th minute in fortunate circumstances when Conor Lyon's over-hit cross eluded wrong-footed keeper Luke Dennison and found the net.
The lead lasted just five minutes when Stone's superb run and cut-back found Long, who had time and space to take a touch before firing his side level.
With the half-time whistle moments away, a ball behind the defence allowed Long to race away and hit an early shot into the bottom right-hand corner past an unprepared Hunt.
Vics came flying out of the block after the break, with captain Jordan Chapman converting at the back post. However, that would be the last time the visitors celebrated.
With 72 minutes played, a goal-kick from Dennison was headed on twice for Stone to show electric pace, sliding the ball between the keeper's legs to retake the lead.
Long then settled the game in the 83rd minute when Hunt spilt Stone's fizzing effort after New Milton's press regained possession on the edge of the area.
New Milton: L. Dennison, T. Sampson, E. Pearce-Eavis, B. Hamerston, E. Lines, A. Booker, T. Rudd, C. Turner, L. Stone, B. Cooper, C. Long. Subs: O. Bull, J. Dacombe, N. McCarthy-Gardiner, G. Deem, G. Richardson.