There were contrasting fortunes for Midhurst and Selsey this week in the Southern Combination division one.
Midhurst slipped to a home defeat to Haywards Heath while improving Selsey earned a point along the coast at Saltdean.
Oliver Stevenson reports...
Midhurst 1 Haywards Heath 4
Midhurst went down at home to high-flying Haywards Heath Town.
John Suter’s men fell behind early on as referee Tobias Pinesmith waved play on despite a possible foul on a Midhurst player and Rob O’Toole went on to finish from close range.
The home side equalised when Joel Stevens struck a sweet strike on the half-volley from Scott Dormer’s cross to send the sides in level at the break.
In the second half Town took the lead when Midhurst keeper Aaron Jeal was bamboozled by a divot which saw the ball spin off at an angle, allowing substitute Freddie Barker to finish into an empty net.
Barker added his second before an unlucky rebound allowed Callum Saunders to race through and settle the game.
Boss Suter said: “We didn’t deserve to lose 4-1. We didn’t deserve to win either, but it was closer than the scoreline suggests and we competed very well.
“They were fitter and we tired late on, but there are positives to take.”
MIDHURST: Jeal; Hunt, Chaplin, Broughton, Casselton; Mason, O’Leary, Dormer, Shuga’a; Dummer, Sheldrick. Subs: Stevens, Dowdell, Farquharson.
Saltdean 1 Selsey 1
Selsey drew at Saltdean in an ill-tempered affair which saw both sides reduced to ten men.
The away side took the lead through Ryan Morey as he scored from close range following a right-sided cross.
Saltdean were first to have a man sent off as Tom Bradford saw red for a foul with Selsey through on goal.
Referee Alex Howard evened up the numbers, sending off Selsey full-back Howard Low and awarding a penalty to the home team, but keeper Lewis Boughton made a fantastic save to keep the score at 1-0.
Saltdean equalised a few minutes into the second half as Devante Davis’ header looped into the net.
Selsey looked more likely to get the winner, but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping meant the sides shared the points.
Despite drawing with the bottom side in the division, Selsey boss Steve Bailey was happy with the result.
He said: “I thought Saltdean played well. We created many chances that we couldn’t finish but it would be wrong to take anything away from them.”
SELSEY: Boughton; Low, Lintott,Kilhams, Parsons; Lempriere, Corell, Rough, Mepham; Turner, Morey. Subs: Clarke, Jackson.
Selsey and Midhurst meet this Saturday at the High Street Ground in the second round of the Division One Cup.
* Dean Reed was on target for Sidlesham but couldn’t prevent a 3-1 defeat to Oakwood. Sids play Saltdean on Saturday.
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