RUSTINGTON Football Club cruised to their third successive County League Division 2 win with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over local rivals Wick on Saturday.
Blues led 4-0 at half-time, after Julian Curnow scored a hat-trick of first-half penalties on his debut and Rustington boss Jon Tucker was delighted with his side’s performance.
He said: “It was a fantastic game and I’m over the moon with my team.
“It’s always good to win a derby and it was our best performance of the season so far. It was unfortunate for Wick that they happened to catch us on a good day, as I’d been saying that we were due to give someone a thrashing.
“Julian Curnow also had a massive impact on his return. Although it was a great team performance, he made a massive difference.”
The defeat was Wick’s fifth on the bounce and their third heavy derby defeat during the run after a 5-0 loss to East Preston and 6-1 reverse at Littlehampton, although they went into the game looking for a league double after defeating Rustington 3-1 in September.
Blues took the lead from the penalty spot on 10 minutes when Steve Kirkham was brought down in the penalty area by Wick keeper Matt Neocleous and Curnow stepped up to slot the ball home to the stopper’s right.
Just two minutes later, Blues doubled their lead. Dan Swain picked out Kirkham, who lobbed home for his 14th goal of the season.
Wick pressed for a way back into the game and some last-ditch defending and solid goalkeeping from Jack Bonetti kept Blues’ two-goal lead intact as Michael Woolston twice went close for Wick.
At the other end, James Bennett blazed over from eight yards, before Kirkham was brought down in the penalty area on 20 minutes and Curnow made it 3-0 from the spot.
Curnow completed his hat-trick with his third penalty five minutes before half-time after Kirkham was fouled in the penalty area for the third time.
Rustington got their fifth 20 minutes from time when substitute Andy Boxall scored with his first touch after Bennett’s effort was saved, following good play between Gavin Heater and Michael Hamm. Boxall then got his second with 10 minutes to go when he tapped home Heater’s cross at the back post.
Wick boss Ryan Pharo said: “The scoreline didn’t reflect our performance. Although I wouldn’t say we played well, we battled hard but it was always going to be difficult after we gave away three first-half penalties, although every one was a penalty.”
Blues host second-placed Hailsham on Saturday, while Wick entertain Loxwood.