A decent performance from Midhurst in an enthralling encounter saw them just fall short at home to SCFL division-one high flyers East Preston.
The visitors started the brighter and had several good chances saved by Billy Nash, one of which was a penalty after Nathan Hunt had tripped Preston’s winger.
A controversial point in the first half came when a dangerously-high tackle from the EP No7 left stud marks down the length of George Hotson’s shin. The Stags felt the defender was lucky to not be more seriously hurt, but he did have to go off later.
The Stags grew into the game and half-chances came and went. Liam Dreckman went close, hitting the bar, and there was a fine save from the visitors’ keeper.
After a goalless first half, the second started at a frantic pace. Ant Kirby grew in confidence on his first start since returning to Midhurst in the centre of midfield.
Mark Broughton and Hotson looked a solid partnership at the back but were finally undone on 60 minutes. With what looked like a foul on George Morris on the halfway line going unpunished, Preston’s right-back set free winger , who cooly slotted home.
Kirby raced through to round EP’s keeper and slot home for 1-1.
Midhurst were soon back in the game. A good tackle from Nathan Castleton allowed him to release Kirby, who played a one-two with Gary Norgate. Kirby raced through to round EP’s keeper and slot home for 1-1.
The remainder of the game was even, both teams playing neat football on a difficult surface.
EP found their winner on 75 minutes. Their nippy forward rounded several Midhurst players to slot home.
The rest of the game brought a few half-chances for both sides but no equaliser for the Stags.
Midhurst boss Dave Berkowitz was happy with his side’s performance and couldn’t have asked for any more.
Midhurst: Nash, Hunt (Stevens 70), Broughton, Hotson, Casselton (Lee 75), Hamilton, Dreckmann, Hyde, Kirby, Norgate, Morris (Chaplin 90).
Saltdean 4 Selsey 0
SCFL division one
The Blues’ excellent recent form counted for nothing as they were blown away by a strong and superbly-organised Saltdean side in the opening 37 minutes.
The home side came at Selsey from the first whistle and Steve Bailey’s visitors had no answer to the leaders’ power and pace.
Being four down at half-time Bailey made changes to stop a potential landslide. The changes worked as Saltdean failed to increase the scoreline and the game finished 4-0.
It was a harsh lesson for the Blues, one which hopefully they can use and learn from quickly.
Selsey: Smith, McGreal, Low, Kilhams, Ebling, Lynch, Clarke, Manners, Groom, Miller, Morey. Subs: Mepham, Chittock, Parsons.
* This Saturday, when Selsey host Oakwood, they will be marking the sad and sudden death of club president Dave White, who passed away last week.
All who knew Dave, including any past players or officials of Selsey FC, are welcome to attend.
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