CHICKERELL United gained a morale-boosting 6-2 win away at Cranborne with a second-half Matt Stickland hat-trick in the Dorset Senior League.

The result keeps pressure on league leaders Corfe Castle, with the Chickens four points behind with two games remaining.

The match opened up with Chickerell dominating from the outset, but struggling to find a clear way through to goal.

Cranborne were maintaining shape well and blocked the Chickerell efforts well.

After 38 minutes, a move down the left-hand side saw Clayton Heath cut back to Matt Harvey 12 yards out, who fired into the corner to hand the Chickens the lead.

The away side doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, when a Heath corner led to a move that saw a cross into Steve Welch who rounded the goalkeeper to slot in.

The second half was a frantic affair with six goals but Chickerell came out slowly and paid the price.

A mistake at the back from the Chickens allowed a Cranborne free-kick, which Christer Warren to fire into the corner.

This woke Chickerell up however, and after 55 minutes Stickland scored his first of the day after he followed in a rebounded effort to put the Chickens 3-1 up.

Chickerell then extended their lead again after Stickland cut inside from the edge of the box and tucked it into the left-hand corner after 65 minutes.

After 75 minutes, Cranborne got their second through Oliver Hand when he shifted the ball to the left after a pass inside before smashing it past Ian Bickerstaff, but there was to be no comeback for the home side.

Stickland then rounded off his second-half hat-trick before Harvey sealed a brace late on after firing in after cutting inside following a move down the left.

Chickerell manager Shaun Murphy said: "It was a good result in the end. I was very happy. 

"It means with two games to go we are still in it but we are still relying on other teams to help us out.

"We felt a little bit like there was no pressure on us on Saturday, seeing as it is not in our hands to win the league now. It felt like we were playing some of the stuff we were playing at the start of the season.

"In the first half we were absolutely fantastic."

Chickerell are in action tonight at Westland Sports Reserves (6.30pm).

Chickerell: Bickerstaff, Cracknell, Miles, Rogers, Miller (Jake McCarthy 70), Heath, Etherington, Harvey, Dewey (Voss 70), Stickland, Welch