Midhurst’s solid start puts paid to Westfield’s hopes

Westfield are a team Midhurst find it difficult to get a positive result from – and it was obvious from the opening exchanges the game would need plenty of effort and enthusiasm if Midhurst were to emerge winners.

Manager Gary Wheatcroft made several changes to the side who had taken a point from Seaford the previous week.

After 12 minutes, Westfield were celebrating what they thought was the opening goal but a linesman indicated an offside.

On the half-hour, a free-kick to Westfield saw a well-placed free-kick by Sam Henham produce an opening goal.

Midhurst were forced into a more defensive style of play but at 1-0 down at half-time, Midhurst knew they would have to go on the attack.

The Midhurst strikeforce, led by Gary Norgate, were receiving plenty of attention from the visitors and home supporters were voicing their disapproval at some of the tackles.

A free-kick just outside the area saw Dave Pugh blast the ball over the Midhurst goal after an hour.

Midhurst levelled when Ollie Pearce beat visiting keeper Matt Crutwell to the ball and converted.

The referee had to produce a number of yellow cards as both sides were adopting more robust play.

Wheatcroft brought on Liam Dreckman for James Wills.

With 20 minutes left, Lewis Hamilton converted a penalty for Midhurst after good approach work by Norgate.

A linesman’s flag saved the visitors going further behind.

The last 10 minutes saw both sides steeping up a gear but Midhurst were intent on securing the win and now look forward to their visit to Bexhill on Saturday.

MIDHURST: Knight, Glue, White, Sheldrake, O’Leary, Angell, Dummer, Pearce, Hamilton, Norgate, Wills. Sub: Dreckman.

Midhurst reserves won 2-1 at Hurstpierpoint and host Rustington on Saturday.

TED DUMMER