Gloucestershire County League: Mills is the hat-trick hero as Southmead step up their title challenge
LUKE Mills fired a hat-trick as Southmead maintained their David Wilson Homes Gloucestershire County League title hopes with a 3-0 home win over Hanham.
Mills broke the deadlock shortly before half-time and added two more goals in the second period to move his side to within four points of the summit.
King's Stanley are the new leaders after they triumphed 2-1 at Henbury, while previous table-toppers Tuffley's home game with Thornbury was postponed.
Ryan Stevenson gave Stanley a first-half lead, George Watts equalised early in the second half, but Danny Stephens soon restored the visitors' advantage.
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Rockleaze slipped up in their bid to challenge for the title, going down 2-1 at home to Bishop's Cleeve Reserves. George Nicholls and Alex Gottwald put Cleeve two goals up inside half-an-hour before Nathan Bryer pulled a goal back just before the break.
Bristol Academy triumphed 1-0 at Yate Reserves , courtesy of a Jake Jackson penalty 15 minutes from time.
Patchway won their derby at DRG Frenchay 3-1, despite falling behind to a Jay Willis goal ten minutes before half-time.
Dan Bendall-Matthews equalised before the interval, Chris Chinnock put the visitors ahead and Mark Palmer rounded things off with a stoppage-time penalty.
The game between Frampton and Chipping Sodbury was abandoned after 82 minutes after the hosts' Zac Tyers suffered a suspected broken leg. Frampton were 3-0 up at the time.
Clevedon United continued their improved form with a 3-3 home draw against Premier Division leaders Berrow.
Jeff Mead gave Berrow a seventh-minute lead, but Nick Lee levelled midway through the first half with a superb 35-yard drive into the top corner of the net.
Berrow regained the lead just before half-time when Pete John scored with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Just after the hour mark, Tony Cook equalised for Clevedon, who then went ahead on 75 minutes when Joe Govan headed home Sam Brown's cross.
However, Berrow had the final say when Luke McEriain excellent free-kick in stoppage-time rescued a point for the leaders.
Nailsea United moved up to fourth with a 2-1 home success against Shirehampton.
Kyle O'Donovan gave Shirehampton a 29th-minute lead, but Mark Long levelled shortly before half-time.
Nailsea's winner came in the closing stages when Ryan King's cross was deflected into the net by Harry Hope.
Second-placed Cutters Friday returned to winning ways in style with an 8-0 home victory over bottom-of-the-table St George (EiG), but third-placed Ashton & Backwell suffered a surprise 4-3 defeat at home to Bridgwater Town Reserves.
In the only other Premier Division match, Stockwood Green boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop with a 3-1 home win against Langford Rovers.
In Division One, leaders Yatton Athletic lost 1-0 at mid-table Clutton, third-placed Keynsham Town Reserves drew 3-3 at Cleeve West Town and Brislington Reserves won 2-0 at home to Bishop Sutton Reserves.