A win for Midhurst and a draw for Sidlesham feature in our reports from divisions two and three of the Sussex League.
Midhurst 3 Bexhill 1
Sussex League division two
Rotherfield was the only ground in division two to beat the weather – and it hosted an enjoyable encounter that ended with improving Midhurst defeating high-flying Bexhill.
The Stags broke the deadlock. A good run by Luke Sheldrick saw him play a sweeping pass into the path of Liam Dreckman, who strode in from the left and slotted the ball into the far corner past the diving keeper.
The main threat from Bexhill came from free -kicks, at which they could send their tall centre-back forward. These threats were confidently repelled by Gary Norgate and Hyde.
The Bexhill centre-back provided the main talking point of the half. After tussling with Sheldrick on the halfway line he stamped on the striker while he was on the floor. The ref spotted it and sent him to the showers.
The rest of the half was all Midhurst and they ought to have been two or three up by the interval.
In the second half, Midhurst started slowly. A quick attack from Bexhill forced a block from Dan Roberts. The Stags broke and Liam Dreckman’s lofted pass found Scott Towers, who placed the ball in the bottom corner.
Midhurst relaxed, allowing Bexhill to catch them with a long ball which the quick striker latched on to and poked under Roberts.
Numbers were levelled up as Andy Newton was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle.
The closing half-hour was nervy for the Stags as they repelled Bexhill. They were able to relax though with five minutes to play as sub Miles Hamilton burst through and finished neatly across the keeper.
Man of the match was Sean Dummer.
Manager Norgate said “Every single player put in 100 per cent effort and showed loads of passion to win – I can’t fault a single one. We are climbing the league quickly and one more win could see us jump four places. I hope the lads maintain their good attitude and we pick up big points in the next few weeks.”
MIDHURST: Roberts, Stevens (Casselton), White, Hyde, Norgate, Towers, Mason, Newton, Dummer, Sheldrick (Hamilton), Dreckman (Crabb).
Southwick 2 Sidlesham 2
Sussex League division three
Sidlesham had to settle for a share of the spoils against fellow promotion chasers Southwick.
Sids were without suspended duo John Phillips and Barry McCoy and Danny Millins and Tom Bayley were still aways. Into the side for his debut came a recent signing from Pagham, Dean Bennett, and Dan Cowell.
Southwick went ahead on five minutes, Donnelly capitalising a mistake in the Sids defence.
Sids equalised with a goal-of-the-season contender from top scorer Tom Kelly. The ball looped up into the air and Kelly’s overhead kick flew into the top corner.
Sids missed good opportunities to take the lead, most notably through Dan Bassil, who screwed his shot wide.
The visitors started the second half well and soon took the lead through Dean Reed. An excellent through-ball by Bennett released Reed, who slotted under the advancing keeper.
Both sides had good opportunities and Sids keeper John Pope saved spectacularly more than once.
With 20 minutes to go, Kelly bought down the Southwick winger in the box and substitute Sharpe calmly despatched the penalty.
Sids centre-half Joe Leggat was shown a red for violent conduct, which meant it was backs to wall for the final ten minutes – however Sids saw it out to take a point.
MoM was Dean Bennett.
SIDS: Pope, Grantham, Leggat, Cowell (Williams), Carrigher, T Jefkins, Pearce, Reed, Kelly, Bennett (Robinson), Bassil (J Jefkins).