Hanks' big performance is too much for derby rivals
EVESHAM UNITED 2 BISHOP'S CLEEVE 3
A JOE Hanks second half hat-trick earned Bishop's Cleeve their second away victory in four days at local rivals Evesham United.
John Brough's Mitres side trailed 1-0 at the break, but Hanks struck in the 50th, 52nd and 79th minutes to secure back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Hanks and his Cheltenham Town team-mate Ed Williams, who have both extended their loan stays with Cleeve to a second month, were the game's outstanding performers.
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Cleeve fell behind in the ninth minute when a long ball caught out the defence and Lance Smith beat Louie Barnfather with a low finish.
But Cleeve edged the first period, with Ed Williams setting up Jacob Morgan for a good chance and Morgan's fine ball releasing Ed Williams on the right.
The latter's cross was almost turned in by Nick Hill.
Morgan saw a header from Ed Williams' free-kick turned over by John Bateman, but four minutes before half-time Morgan was forced off after being caught late by defender Daniel Gregson, who also had to be replaced after the players clashed heads.
Adam Mayo went on and Cleeve finished the half strongly with Ed Williams' low effort bringing the best out of Bateman, who dived low to his right to keep the shot out, and skipper Matt Williams was also denied by the keeper after reaching Ed Williams' corner.
They found a deserved leveller five minutes into the second half when Hanks nodded in Lewis Binns' inswinging corner from the right.
Ed Williams was terrorising the home defence as Cleeve piled forward in search of an immediate second, and it arrived when Hanks burst onto a blocked shot, rounded Bateman and applied an expert finish.
Mayo should have done better after more magic from Ed Williams, dragging his shot wide before Bateman blocked well from the winger.
Hanks completed his hat-trick with a deft finish past the advancing goalkeeper which went into the net off both posts.
Smith's second in the 83rd minute set up a tense finish at the Jubilee Stadium as he fired in at the second attempt after Barnfather had blocked an initial effort.
But Cleeve saw out the game well to build on Saturday's 4-0 win at Didcot Town, and Brough will be hoping for more of the same from his improving young team at home to Wimborne Town on Saturday.
EVESHAM UNITED: J Bateman; J Wilson, D Gregson (A Millard 45), M Richards, R Mansell; M Jackson, M Botfield, N Barnfield, A Jackson (M Palmer 63); L Smith, C Brown (M Tambling 63). Subs not used: L Dovey, D Holloway.
BISHOP'S CLEEVE: L Barnfather; A Hoyle, M Williams, J Lee, L Binns (B Tunnicliff 71); J Morgan (A Mayo 43), J Hanks, J Turley, L Sheehan, E Williams; N Hill. Subs not used: J Moore, J Fairbairn, A Palmer.
REFEREE: B James.
STAR MAN: Joe Hanks.
■ Cheltenham Saracens came away from Ardley United empty-handed despite a much-improved performance.
They took the lead after 11 seconds as Jordan Bryan continued his rich vein of scoring form.
Ardley had three penalties, one of which was saved by Ryan Betteridge, one which was hit over the bar and one which was converted.
And Ardley, who beat Saracens 6-0 at Petersfield Park earlier in the season, snatched a late winner.
Dave Herbert missed a late chance to equalise for Saracens.
■ Cirencester Town were knocked out of the Gloucestershire Senior Cup in the first round by Bristol Rovers.
They trailed 2-0 at the break with goals from Seanan Clucas and Oliver Norbun before Ellis Dunton pulled one back in the 56th minute.
But Ellis Harrison's goal a minute later secured the win for the League Two club's development team at the Memorial Stadium.