JOE Knight hit a hat-trick as Harwich and Parkeston beat Coggeshall United 4-1 at the Gwinnell & Sons Royal Oak, writes TERRY FRANCIS.

Having been well beaten in their last two matches, the Shrimpers showed resilience by bouncing back with an impressive victory in their latest Thurlow Nunn League first division south match.

Harwich's under-18 team goalkeeper Jack Lines was again called upon to deputise for the injured Brad Cook.

Lines chose to advance when faced with a dangerous attack in the third minute but was beaten to the ball, leaving Jos Syrett to tap Coggeshall into the lead.

Credit to youngster Lines though, who was not fazed by this setback and went on to have a good game.

Knight raised Harwich spirits with a shot that forced United's keeper Sam Kingston to produce a fine diving save.

And Harwich equalised in the tenth minute when Knight's shot was too good for Kingston and nestled in the corner of the net.

Shrimpers skipper Gareth Heath's shot was heading for the top corner of the net but Kingston made another great save.

With half an hour gone, a well-worked move culminated with a good finish by Knight, to put Harwich into the lead.

Harwich were on top form now with Heath's accurate corners causing Coggeshall's defence problems.

Another good move saw Knight complete an excellent hat-trick to increase the Shrimpers' lead.

With half-time approaching Alfie Smith's well-taken volley put Harwich into a commanding three-goal interval lead.

Coggeshall tried hard in the second half but Harwich were in no mood to let them back into the game.

Although the Shrimpers did not score again, they continued to play attractive attacking football and delight their supporters.

Harwich's improvement in the second half of the season has now taken their points tally to 41 and well clear of the relegation zone.

Harwich visit play-off hopefuls Burnham Ramblers, on Saturday.

The Shrimpers host Ipswich Wanderers on Easter Monday in their last game of the season.

Wanderers hope to be crowned champions at the Royal Oak, kick-off 3pm.