SWIFTS striker Jack Downing gave Sporting Khalsa’s title hopes a dent with a superb hat-trick on Saturday.

He struck to hand Stourport a fine 4-2 success at Walshes Meadow.

Downing opened the scoring after just eleven minutes when Nick MacPherson robbed keeper Rob Arnold in possession and unselfishly crossed for Downing fire Swifts in front. MacPherson almost repaeated the favour four minutes later when he skipped past two defenders, but Downing just failed to connect with his cross.

Khalsa hit back, and were unfortunate to see skipper Tesfa Robinson’s header fly just over the bar, and Mykel Beckley’s low shot was well held by Richards.

Downing increased the Swifts lead after 21 minutes when Drew Canavan’s precision pass split the Khalsa defence and he coolly rounded Arnold to tap in from five yards. Striker Lee Chilton missed Khalsa’s best chance to reduce the arrears when he blazed wide from 12 yards when clean through on goal.

Just after the break Downing saw a fierce effort well save by Arnold, but minutes later Swifts were three in front when Matt Hanson blasted home from close range at the far post after Khalsa failed to clear Canavan’s free kick from the right. After 61 minutes Downing completed his hat trick when Canavan again exposed the Khalsa defence and Downing raced on to drill low past Arnold from a narrow angle.

With Swifts cruising at 4-0 Khalsa made them pay for some sloppy defending when Dan Westwood reacted first to force home from a right wing corner from Chilton, and with two minutes left the same player made the score respectable when he broke through unchallenged to slot past Richards.

Swifts now head to Long Eaton this Saturday.