SIDLESHAM have set out their stall in the Sussex League division-three title race - while Bosham’s campaign ended with a draw.
Roffey 1 Bosham 1
Sussex League division three
A superb save by keeper Simon Hasted ensured Bosham ended their league campaign with a share of the spoils at mid-table Roffey.
The shot-stopper was equal to a header from point-blank range with a few minutes left to keep the scores level in a game which Andy Probee’s side were once again left frustrated by their own finishing.
The Reds were without Marco Giambelardini, Alex Barnes and Matt Docherty but still carried a threat going forward through Jake Lafferty and Dave Storey.
Bosham were stunned after just three minutes, going behind to a Luke MacGregor strike from the edge of the area as he benefitted from poor marking to rifle into the corner.
Adam Brett had two good opportunities to draw the visitors level. First, when virtually one-on-one with the goalkeeper, although from a wide angle, he was unable to find the net or square to a team-mate and the ball was hacked clear.
Then a cross from the left found Brett inside the area, but after a good first touch, he put the ball too close to Roffey keeper Lewis Blaney and the chance was gone.
Sub Nick Edgington got Bosham back into it on 67 minutes, improvising with his footwork to find the net from close range following Adam Brett’s good work and cross from the left.
The Reds should have gone on to win it, with returning centre-half Ben Blanshard spurning perhaps the best of the chances with a close-range header over the bar from Louis Bell’s corner.
With Bosham’s first league season back at county level complete, all eyes turn to the Division 3 Cup semi-final against Ferring, which will be played at Arundel’s Mill Road on Tuesday, April 7 (7.30pm). The winners will face Sidlesham or Roffey on April 28.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Mullen, McCrossan, Bryant, Blanshard, Bell, Probee, Wilson, Storey, Lafferty, Brett. Subs: Redman, Edgington.
Langney Wand 0 Sidlesham 1
Sussex League division three
Sidlesham won 1-0 on the longest trip of the season to Langney Wanderers to keep up their hopes of winning the title.
The Sids have now finished their programme and must wait to see if Southwick or - less likely - Langney can overhaul them in top spot. Each have four games left.
Sidlesham started well but could have fallen behind when a powerful header thumped against John Pope’s crossbar.
Sids should have taken the lead when a pinpoint pass from Barry McCoy was latched on to by in-form Tom Bayley His touch was immaculate, cutting across the defender, but as he went one on one with the keeper his shot narrowly went over the bar.
Bayley did get the breakthrough when a corner from John Phillips fell kindly to Bayley, who volleyed in from close range to give Sids the lead.
Sidlesham were finding gaps all through the Langney back four and a long pass from Joe Leggat was met by Dan Bassil – however an unfornunate bobble at the crucial moment took the chance away for the striker.
Sids went in at the break leading and having played much the better of the two sides but Langney came out a different side and put Sidlesham under pressure from the off.
But the home side came up against a brick wall in the form of MoM Pope in goal and Sids back four of Pearce, Leggat, McCoy and skipper Carrigher.
Sidlesham posed a threat on the break and nearly doubled the lead when a shot from Dean Bennett was superbly saved. Then a last-ditch tackle from the Langney centre-half denied John Phillips a tap-in from the rebound.
The final ten minutes proved to be backs against the wall for Sids as Pope made three outstanding saves – first blocking a goalbound shot with his left leg, then an instinctive reaction save from close range and finally tipping a well-driven volley from the edge of the box over the bar.
Sids now turn their attention to the cup – they travel to Steyning next Wednesday (April 1) for a Division Three Cup semi-final against Roffey (7.30pm).
SIDS: Pope, Pearce, Carrigher, Leggat, McCoy, Millins, Phillips, Bennett (Kelly), Reed, Bassil (Grantham), Bayley (Williams).