Players and friends raise money for injured Matt

Midhurst FC welcomed a Fittleworth XI to the Rotherfield to face a team comprising past and present Stags.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:47 pm
Midhurst's Matt Mason with just two of the many who turned out for a fundraising match / Picture by Clive Bennett

The aim for the evening was to raise funds for injured Matt Mason and his young family. Mason suffered a double break to his left leg playing for Midhurst against East Preston recently.

A large crowd enjoyed a game that was played in the right spirit. Post-match the clubhouse was packed for an auction and raffle of fantastic items donated by local businesses.

Gate receipts, two raffles and a donation from the burger bar meant a very healthy sum was raised. East Preston have also made a donation from their fans to add to the pot. A massive thank-you goes to all involved in making it a very successful event.

Bexhill 1 Midhurst 2

SCFL division one

A dominant display saw Midhurst take three valuable points on the road.

Midhurst had to make several changes from last weeks solid performance against Steyning knowing a victory was needed.

Bexhill is always a tough place to visit and Midhurst knew they’d need to battle hard against the hosts – and they didn’t disappoint.

Within the first ten minutes Keith Martin, George Morris and Lawrence Hyde set about dominating the midfield and the Bexhill skipper who was forced off with an unfortunate injury.

It was one-way traffic for the half but a goal evaded Midhurst. Oli Lee down the left and Ben Kemplin on the right were a threat and Kemplin almost opened the scoring on 25 minutes.

Joel Stevens found Kemplin on the halfway line. The energetic midfielder bypassed five Bexhill players and fired a 30-yard shot which was heading for the top corner but the Bexhill stopper pulled off a fine save.

Gary Norgate, Morris and Hyde all had chances saved or cleared off the line.

After 50 minutes Norgate was sent clear by Morris. Norgate was tripped 20 yards out and the Bexhill centre-back was given his second yellow card and sent off.

This seemed to unsettle Midhurst who seemed to feel the pressure of needing to score with the opposition a man down.

Bexhill found a foothold in the game and went for the jugular but the Midhurst back four of Nathan Hunt, Paul Grantham, George Hotson and Joel Stevens kept the scoreline goalless.

On 60 minutes the hosts broke the deadlock. A free-kick floated into the Stags box fell to Drew Greenall to finish from three yards.

Midhurst lost their way for a spell but the tide turned again on 70 minutes. Lee produced a perfect ball for Norgate and the forward poked his ball towards goal but was saved. But a weak clearance by Bexhill fell to Hyde 18 yards out and his sweet right-foot drive nestled perfectly in the top corner.

Lee remained a constant threat down the left but was forced off by a horrendous tackle which went unpunished. Alex Brazier came on and slotted in well as did Greg Chaplin, who replaced the injured Hunt.

The winner came in the 85th minute. Morris tried to release Norgate with a raking crossfield pass and the Bexhill right-back tried to casually head back to the keeper but it fell short. Norgate pounced and took it wide of the Bexhill No1 to coolly slot home.

There was a last-minute fright for Midhurst. A Bexhill striker was one on one with Patrick Cowell in the 94th minute but a last-ditch tackle by the dominant Hotson saved the Stags.

They host Saltdean at Rotherfield this Saturday.

Cowell, Stevens, Grantham, Hotson, Hunt (Brazier 75), Martin, Hyde, Morris, Lee (G Chaplin 80), Kemplin, Norgate, Sub unused: Martin.

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