Bosham’s fading interest in the Sussex League division-three title race ended at Southwick – as the hosts put themselves in the shake-up.
It was the third league defeat in a row for the Robins – their poorest run of the season, shipping ten goals in the process – and the second game in succession where they were reduced to ten men.
Like last week’s dismissal of Matt Docherty at Langney, experienced centre-half Nick Edgington was somewhat unfortunate to receive his marching orders for a foul inside the area – his second yellow – which resulted in Alex Sarkies tucking away the penalty to draw the teams level at 1-1.
That was 15 minutes left, after which a plucky Bosham side including former Havant & Waterlooville midfielder Louis Bell shot themselves in the foot having had the lion’s share of possession and chances against a physical Wickers outfit.
Captain James Wilson slotted home from the spot with eight minutes of the first half to play after Dave Storey was felled inside the box to give Bosham a deserved advantage.
Had Marco Giambelardini kept his composure when well placed shortly after the restart, it could have made for a different outcome.
Edgington also saw a shot cannon off a Southwick body inside the area when it was heading for the bottom corner.
Southwick were down to ten when Ben Strevens was given an early bath for violent conduct, but with the sides again even, it was the hosts who found the extra gear with a clinical touch in front of goal.
Tom Donnelly scored a soft second that squirmed under the body of keeper Simon Hasted with ten minutes to go before Alex Sarkies got his second with an opportunistic third at the death, capitalising on some calamitous defending.
Bosham visit Roffey on Saturday in their final league outing (3pm), and on April 7, Andy Probee’s side take on Ferring in the Division 3 Cup semi-final.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Docherty, Bryant, Edgington, Bell, Lafferty, Wilson, Storey, Giambelardini, Brett. Subs: McCrossan, Jackson.
Sidlesham 2 Langney 1
Sussex League division three
SIZZLING Sidlesham moved six points clear at the top of the table after beating last year’s champions at The Rec.
They had beaten the same opposition 3-0 in the cup just three weeks early but knew this would be a stiff test, and were delighted to come out on top again.
Both sides started in combative fashion but Langney seized the initiative when a mix-up in the Sidlesham back four let in left winger Paul Weatherby to slide the ball into the bottom corner, giving John Pope no chance.
Langney could have extended their lead but Pope made a fantastic save rushing off his line to block the goalbound effort.
This woke up Sidlesham and within five minutes, John Phillips had levelled.
Tom Jefkins won the ball in midfield and fed Steve Williams wide on the right. His ball into Tom Bayley was moved on to Phillips, who played a one-two with Bayley and fired in hard and low from 20 yards. It was a fabulous team goal and gave Sids the impetus to take the game to Langney.
Bayley, Dan Bassil and Millins all had chances to put Sids in front.
The plan discussed at half-time was to continue with the same game plan and on 55 minutes the breakthrough came in wonderful style.
Dean Bennett fed the ball down the left-side channel which MoM Bayley raced on to, and his strength held off a defender before he finished with a low shot on his weaker left foot.
You could see the confidence oozing through the team as chances came and went for Sids. Barry McCoy went close with a header from a corner, as did Dean Reed, who headed narrowly pass the post.
The win brought three more vital points that put them six points clear – although the chasing teams do have games in hand.
Sids travel to Langney in their last game of the league season hoping for another win that could make it difficult for either their opponents or Southwick to catch them.
SIDS: Pope, Williams (Reed), Grantham, McCoy, Carrigher, T Jefkins (Pearce), Bennett (Robinson), Phillips, Millins, Bassil, Bayley
Unused subs: J Jefkins, Kelly.