Midhurst can’t go the extra Mile at Oak

Midhurst played well but lost 2-1 at Mile Oak in their Sussex League second-division opener.

The Stags kicked off their 2014-15 campaign with a loss in a hard-fought game at Mile Oak.

The opening exchanges were fairly even with both teams showing attacking endeavour but creating few opportunities.

The Stags’ passing game was inhibited by the poor Mile Oak pitch, which suited the opposition’s more direct style of play – a style which caused few issues for Broughton and Norgate at the back.

Midway through the half, Jimmy Turner broke through from the halfway line and found himself one on one with the keeper. His shot was well saved, but the rebound fell to debutant Tom Lyons, who opened his Midhurst account calmly and tucked the ball in the bottom right corner.

After the break Midhurst started positively with Sean Dummer looking dangerous down the left. Dummer was involved in the game’s controversial moment.

His header was well-saved by the keeper and when Lyons turned the ball back across goal for Dummer to steer home, the lineswoman gave him offside. The Stags felt aggrieved.

This gave Oak renewed energy. As the Stags sat back and failed to retain the ball, Oak created several chances, hitting the bar twice. Then the equaliser came. A header at Knight’s goal was saved but the rebound fell nicely to an Oak player a yard out and he smashed home for 1-1.

Oak continued to push forward and with four minutes left, from another corner, the ref awarded a penalty after judging Norgate had pulled the shirt of an Oak player. The penalty was blasted home to give Mile Oak a big win.

Midhurst MoM was Mark Broughton.

Manager Norgate said: “Overall we shouldn’t be too downhearted. This is a tough place to come and not many teams will pick up points here this year. We are a new team who are still gelling and we have plenty of potential to kick on and do well this season.”

MIDHURST: Knight, Casselton, Mason, Broughton, Norgate, Stevens, Hyde, Turner (Newton), Dummer, Lyons, Sheehan. Subs: Newton, J Knight, Dowdell.