Clayton at the treble to fire Whyteleafe into second spot

Sam Clayton bagged a six-minute hat-trick as Whyteleafe’s push for a return to Ryman Division One South continued apace on Saturday.

A 3-0 win over Holmesdale at Church Road marked seven consecutive wins for Leafe and lifted them to second in the table.

Leafe had the best of the first half but despite a number of free kicks in dangerous positions, could not turn their possession into goals.

The first of these came after 12 minutes when Roscoe DSane was brought down 30 yards out but Jason Thompson’s free kick was well over the bar.

Holmesdale had two good early chances when Daniel Stewart headed wide from close range, then Stewart sent Nick Whybrow free but Sheikh Ceesay in the Leafe goal came out to make a point blank save.

Bentley Graham was brought down just outside the box in the 25th minute, but Thompson’s free kick was again over the bar, and yet another Thompson free kick a minute later saw the usually deadly midfielder again miss the target.

Leafe then carved out a fine opportunity when Clayton beat two defenders on the left wing. He found DSane in the box, who laid the ball off to Ryan Fowler but he missed his kick.

After the break, Holmesdale enjoyed a good spell, but it inspired Leafe to their best spell of the game.

Clayton opened the scoring on 52 minutes firing past Bradley McKenna after being picked out in the penalty area by DSane.

Four minutes later, Ryan Fowler found Clayton on the edge of the box, he then two defenders and slotted the ball past McKenna.

The game was virtually over in the 58th minute when Clayton completed his hat-trick, this time getting a head to a Thompson free kick. McKenna got a hand to it but was unable to prevent the ball going into the net.

Leafe, who boast the best defensive record in the league having conceded only 10 goals in 13 games, go to Greenwich Borough on Saturday.

Ashford United, who lead the table by two points, are at home to struggling Canterbury City.

Whyteleafe: Ceesay, Merchant, Penfold, Abraham, Smith, Thompson, Fowler, Grant (Massey 88), DSane (Smith {Taylor} 62), Clayton, Graham (Thornton 75).

Sub not used: Burnett.

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