It was a tough home start for Bosham as they were beaten by Upper Beeding, while Sidlesham earned a point at Westfield.
Read the latest reports from division two of the SCFL below, and get all the local football in the Observer, out every Thursday.
Bosham 0 Upper Beeding 3
SCFL division two
Upper Beeding are a team Bosham have struggled against in recent seasons – and they came unstuck again in their first home game of the new campaign.
Bosham were without midfield heavyweight Bradley Miles and Grant Radmore but did welcome back Graeme Dowden as manager Gary Lines hoped to continue the good form from the trip to Ferring.
The game began slowly with both teams sizing each other up.
Bosham threatened after nine minutes when Alfie Smith crossed and captain Andy Brown powered a header goalwards but keeper Jamie Hollis watched it go over the bar.
The Yellows upped the tempo and, approaching the quarter-hour, Sam Gunn let fly but it failed to trouble Robins keeper Nick Hall.
On 20 minutes the Bosham defence opened up and Jack Whittington surged through and placed a left-footed shot past Hall to give Upper Beeding the lead.
Frustrations built for the hosts as they struggled to break down a rigid defence. Even the dangerous Callum Coker was having a tough time up front for the Reds.
Just before the break, Brown went extremely close following good work from Coker but the effort shaved the post.
Following the restart Bosham looked more authoritative and were winning a lot more of the ball – but chances were still few and far between.
Jake Lafferty had an opportunity from a free-kick but put too much on it and Beeding continued to soak up pressure.
Brown went close again on the hour following good work from Coker. But just as it seemed the Reds may get back into the game, on 65 minutes the Yellows broke quickly and Jamie Rowland got clear and scuffed a shot past Hall to double the lead to the delight of manager Josh Baldock.
Bosham kept probing with sub Drew Moore going close but the luck didn’t seem to be with the champions and a superb goal late on from Adam Skinner sealed the win for Beeding. Kieron Stevens worked space down the right and fired in a low cross and Skinner turned and shot low past Hall into the bottom corner.
Bosham tried to find some respectability but their misfortune was trumped then Louis Bell saw a point-blank header saved by Hollis in injury-time.
Beeding boss Baldock said: “What a great game and credit to both teams for their efforts and courage. It’s been frustrating for us coming here over the years and it’s nice to finally be coming away with spoils at long last.”
Bosham travel to Rustington this week and manager Lines will be looking for an improved performance.
Bosham: Hall, Neal, Smith, Docherty, James, Reynolds, Wilson, Lafferty, Brown, Coker, Dowden. Subs: Fewell, Bell, Moore, Miller.
Westfield 1 Sidlesham 1
SCFL division two
Sidlesham came away with a point – although on their second-half showing it should have been three.
Westfield started brightly and within minutes they were award a penalty. The ball was smashed against Raff de Santos’ hands from three yards away and to everyone’s amazement the referee pointed to the spot. Scott Ramsey slotted home.
Sidlesham were almost level and but for a smart save from the home keeper, Dan Byles would have opened his account.
With a little more composure in front of goal, chances from Tom Atkinson, Matt Roberts and Byles, after Tom Bayley had put him in, begging.
The second half started in similar fashion, Westfield looking to counter-attack and Sidlesham looking to break down a stubborn defence.
Sids had the ball in the net but Byles was judged offside as he ran on to a through-ball from Tom Jenkins and slotted home.
Into the last five minutes Sidlesham again felt hard done by when Israel Matonga got through into the box and although he got his shot away, there were shouts for a penalty when his legs were clipped.
With two minutes left, Jenkins fired his team level after a great team build-up.
Sids boss Daren Pearce said: “This was no more than we deserved. It was a good point gained against a well-organised Westfield side who I’m sure will take points off teams at home this season.”
Sidlesham reserves beat Steyning 2-1 and the new under-18s team beat Felpham Colts 2-0.
This Saturday sees Sidlesham play in the FA Vase for the first time in many years. They travel to Knaphill. The reserves are at home to Arundel (3pm).
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