Midhurst and Sidlesham shared the spoils at the Rotherfield - while Selsey moved into the top six with a fine win at St Francis Rangers. Get the latest SCFL division one reports below, and don't miss the Observer - out every Thursday - for all the local football action and reaction.
Midhurst 1 Sidlesham 1
SCFL division one
Sids earned a point away to improving Midhurst on a sodden pitch in driving rain.
The hosts started the better team and should have been in front inside the first minute when slack defending allowed a forward a clean strike at goal only for Warren Boyt to make a fine save in the Sids goal.
Boyt could do nothing to stop Grant Radmore opening the scoring with just four minutes on the clock, more poor defending allowing him the opportunity to fire the Stags in front.
It proved to be the wake-up call Sids needed as they finally realised that the game had started.
Morgan Forry was proving a thorn in Midhurst’s side as he put in a succession of crosses, but a mixture of good defending and poor finishing kept the hosts in front.
The second half had Sids causing problems for Midhurst and with the home keeper in good form it looked like it would be one of those days for Sids ... until a cross from substitute Tommy Lee-Smith on 68 minutes was converted by Ryan Chittock.
Sids were looking to take all three points and went close with a couple of goalmouth scrambles as the ball was launched into the Midhurst box from set-pieces but the home side stood firm and almost snatched victory themselves late on.
A long clearance skidded through and was fired goalwards only for Boyt to make another fine save and ensure asids went home with a share of the spoils.
Sids: Boyt, Low, Madden, Lillywhite (Lee-Smith), Dines, Mepham, Chittock, Manners, Jackson, Boulton (Fewell), Forry.
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St Francis Rangers 1 Selsey 4
SCFL division one
Selsey dismantled St Francis Rangers to close in on the leading pack in division one.
Manager Daren Pearce said he was ‘really pleased’ with the result, adding: “We passed the ball really well on a pitch that wasn’t conducive to playing football on. The lads adapted themselves well.
“We were a bit disappointed to concede but 4-1 away from home – we’ll take that. We created quite a few chances and we’re finding the back of the net and scoring on a regular basis.
“Everyone is pulling together, everyone is playing well and doing what’s asked of them. We haven’t got any big time Charlies.”
It took Selsey 16 minutes to open the scoring as Lindon Miller put the ball past St Francis keeper Jordan Markey. The visitors doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half through their top league goalscorer Ryan Morey, netting his eighth league goal this season.
Late in the game, two goals in a minute from Josh Hall sealed the game for the Blues. However, the home team pulled a goal back in the 89th minute through Ross Smith.
Saturday sees Selsey host Oakwood, who are third from bottom.
Pearce added: “We don’t think that will be a foregone conclusion – we beat them at home (in the cup) a couple of weeks ago, and it is always hard playing a side again within a few week .I think they’ll come down with a different mindset and they won’t want to be rolled over again.”
Selsey: Kelly, Mockford-Allott, Atkinson, Hambleton, Higgins-Pearce, Phillips, Dowdell, Bennett, Miller, Jefkins, Morey. Subs: Britton, Hall, Bain.
- MICHAEL HELLYER