Cockerton hat-trick keeps Swans flying

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JAKE COCKERTON’S hat-trick helped continue Storrington Football Club’s fine run on Saturday leaving joint manager James Baker eyeing a top-five finish for Swans.

Their five-game unbeaten run has propelled them up to fifth in the league and Baker is delighted with the progress his team is making - especially after what was a potential banana skin at Westfield.

He said: “In terms of our final league position it’s hard to predict where we may end up – there is hardly any gap between fourth and 12th place at present so you can tell that it’s going to be a fierce battle all the way to the final game of the season.

“We would have liked a top-five finish and certainly this is still an aim, but we need to have a very strong second half of the season if we want to have a realistic chance of achieving this.

“Playing at Westfield isn’t always easy and really we just wanted to get three points today to keep our recent run of good results going.”

On Saturday, Swans had a strike ruled out after a foul in the first-half in what proved a tight 45 minutes which ended 0-0.

But the game jumped into life after the break as Cockerton opened the scoring with a good near-post finish after he had beaten the offside trap on 55 minutes.

Westfield then won a dubious free-kick out wide which they from after John Rhodie was ran into.

Swans retook the lead almost straight from the kick off as Cockerton picked up the ball 25 yards out and unleashed a screamer into the roof of the net on 65 minutes.

Westfield again came back, this time scoring from the penalty spot after Sam Elliott handled in the area. But Kristian Harding restored Swans’ lead on 70 minutes, before Mark O’Regan’s through-ball provided Cockerton the chance to finish his treble and seal the three points.

Baker added: “I was delighted for Jake Cockerton getting his first hat-trick in senior football, whilst Mark Dixon was always a threat bombing forward from right-back.