St Francis Rangers 0, Eastbourne United AFC 6: Another heavy defeat for St Francis Rangers as Baitup hits hat-trick

Southern Premier Division 2: Horsham v St Francis Rangers. Joe Monks's first game in charge as Manager of St Francis SR1605733  Pic Steve Robards SUS-160222-115738001
Southern Premier Division 2: Horsham v St Francis Rangers. Joe Monks's first game in charge as Manager of St Francis SR1605733 Pic Steve Robards SUS-160222-115738001
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St Francis Rangers endured another heavy defeat tonight (Wednesday) as they lost 6-0 to Eastbourne United AFC at Colwell Road.

Manager Joe Monks was confident his side could get their first point of the season against their coastal visitors despite losing 5-0 to league leaders Horsham on Saturday.

On Saturday they let in four second half goals but tonight it was worse as Peter Cooper and Liam Baitup ran riot in the second half.

Rangers had the worst possible start for the home side as they went 1-0 down after just three minutes.

A deep cross from the right missed everyone but found Dave Smart on his own and he rifled home a first shot in the far corner which left Jake Rudwick with no chance in the Rangers goal.

It was a huge blow but the Rangers players’ heads did not drop.

Louie Leong and Raphael Tepe worked hard and showed great battling spirit but they were finding it hard to break through the solid Eastbourne defence.

Liam Baitup could have had a hat-trick in the first 45 minutes but a mixture of good keeping from Rudwick and poor finished meant he remained goalless.

Baitup also created chances and one brilliant cross found Peter Cooper but his header went just over the bar.

It took just four minutes into the second half for Rangers to register their first two shots on goal.

But both George Booker efforts failed to test James Broadbent in the United goal.

Hutchinson’s men always looked the more dangerous and it was no surprise when they masde it 2-0 on 55 minutes.

Cooper’s shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection which left Rudwick helpless.

Baitup then nearly made it 3-0 six minutes later but his effort hit the side netting.

And on 65 minutes the game was all over as Cooper bundled the ball home from close range after good work from Tobi Clifford.

The chances kept falling to Baitup but the striker appeared to be getting more and more frustrated. But on 70 minutes he finally got his goal with a cool finish after eating the offside trap.

United should have made it five from the penalty spot but Rudwick saved Cooper’s spot kick and Sam Crabb somehow missed the follow up.

But Baitup soon made it five on 88 minutes from close range before he completed his second half hat-trick in the final minute after Rudwick spilled an easy save.

St Francis host Uckfield Town on Saturday hoping for better than this.

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