Midhurst and Bosham enjoyed Sussex League wins in their latest run-outs.
Midhurst 2 Seaford 1
Sussex League division two
The Stags continued their good run of form by overcoming an ever-improving Seaford team.
A couple of hours before kick-off, the Rotherfield was covered in a blanket of snow but deemed playable. By kick-off the snow had cleared and play got under way on a soggy, boggy pitch.
If the Stags thought this would be an easy game they were soon proved wrong with Seaford dictating early possession and not giving Midhurst any time on the ball.
After eight minutes, already having had a couple of half-chances, Seaford got their rewards. Fine play from the visitors’ midfield allowed their forward to race free. An outstanding save from Roberts saw it fall into the path of Mike Piperakis, who slotted into an empty net.
If Midhurst needed a wake-up call, this was certainly it. As time went on the Stags grew into the half, but their decision-making in the final third really let them down.
Chances for either team after Seaford’s opener were few and far between until Mason was brought down on the left wing.
Liam Dreckman lifted the ball high into the visitors’ box only for it to catch the keeper off-guard and nestle into the top corner.
The second half started at a frantic pace with the Stags setting their intentions early.
Early efforts from Dummer, Mason and Hamilton caused little danger for the visitors’ stopper but the Stags were looking a lot more assured in the final third.
On 60 minutes, the telling moment came. With Gary Norgate pushed into a more advanced position he set Glue free and he found Dreckman, who was direct and took on several of the visitors’ players before laying on an inch-perfect pass to Miles Hamilton, who fired home.
It was his fifth in two games and proved to be decisive.
The Stags dominated the rest of the proceedings but couldn’t find the third. Hamilton came close on a couple of occasions but the best chance fell to Castleton.
Stevens at right-back found Angell in midfield and he released Castleton, whose effort from 20 yards flew inches wide.
The win leaves Midhurst seventh and looking to push on even more.
MIDHURST: Roberts, Stevens, Hyde, Broughton, White, Glue (Angell 75), Mason, Norgate, Hamilton, Dummer (Castleton 65), Dreckman. Subs not used: Dowdell, J Sheldrick, Cowell.
Bosham 3 Billingshurst 1
A 15th goal of the season from star striker Dave Storey finally saw off a determined Billingshurst side at Walton Lane to extend the Reds’ lead at the top of the table.
It was a timely boost ahead of second-placed Langney’s visit to Bosham this Saturday.
The visitors were a young team, intent on making a statement against the leaders, and Bosham needed to be on top of their game.
It took 20 minutes but eventually the Reds made a period of pressure finally tell to take a deserved lead. Jake Lafferty took advantage of a lacklustre free-kick from Marco Giambelardini to sneak in front of keeper Tom Betts and fire strongly into the back of the net with Betts rooted to the spot.
The Blues started to find their feet and put pressure on the Reds’ back-line. Returning Nick Edgington was a rock at the back and nothing got through to threaten Bosham.
In the second half, Bosham were caught cold early on as Billingshurst grabbed a sensational equaliser. Jake Chadwick fired in a cross from the right and Nathan Stepney produced a towering header at the back post to score in the corner.
The Blues’ tails were up but Bosham regrouped and came back strongly.
Billingshurst gifted Bosham an opportunity when Edgington was upended in the box and a penalty awarded by referee Dave Barnard. James Wilson stepped up and comfortably beat Betts from the spot to restore the lead.
With time running out and the Blues tiring, a third goal arrived from the right boot of top scorer Storey. Betts was forced wide of his box to clear the ball but in hacking it out, he found Storey around 30 yards out and he needed no second invitation to shoot expertly into the empty net.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Bryant, Edgington, Docherty, Wilson, Giambelardini, Storey, Barnes, Lafferty, Carter. Subs: Dowden, Redman.