Midhurst and Bosham have had sharply contrasting starts to their Sussex League season - and that trend continued in their latest games.
Little Common 4 Midhurst 2
Sussex League division two
When will luck change for Gary Norgate’s Stags? Another week brought another game they should have won.
Starting brightly Midhurst had the better of the possession early on. Full-backs Dummer and White looked dangerous bombing forward while the pairing up top of Sheldrick and Dreckman was causing plenty of issues for the Common defence.
But on the half-hour, a soft free-kick conceded on the edge of the box saw Common’s Russell Eldridge bend the ball in the top corner, leaving Cowell no chance.
Then a long punt down-field from the Common keeper evaded the Stags defence, leaving their winger to square for Steve Morris to head home from six yards.
The Stags came out for the second half with the same energy as they’d shown in the first half and played attractive passing football.
They pushed forward and were rewarded when the energetic Josh Sheehan charged down a clearance from the Common keeper, re-directing the ball into an open goal.
The goal gave the Stags’ huge belief and Common were pinned back. Chances were being created but the final touch just evaded the Stags. With 20 minutes to play player-manager Gary Norgate was pushed up front. It was a masterstroke – with ten minutes to play Norgate fired home the equaliser after further good play by Sheehan.
The Stags looked hungry to win it and Matty Mason was running the game from the centre. But then came a hammer blow for the Stags.
A counter-attack saw Common win a corner. and though the initial cross was cleared by Newton, the ball was fired into find Morris 12 yards out and he half-volleyed home.
The Stags pushed forward for an equaliser. Norgate was nearest to equalising but saw his header hit the bar from a good Dreckman cross.
The rebound was cleared and Lewis Hole strode on to it, rounded Cowell and sealed victory.
Norgate said: “The lads gave everything and did everything we asked. They are so near to turning the corner and getting a few wins under their belts. We just need to concentrate more, take our chances when we get them and do the simple things well.”
Man of the match was Norgate.
MIDHURST: Cowell, Dummer, White, Norgate, Broughton (Dowdell), Hyde (Stevens), Sheehan, Mason, Sheldrick, Dreckman, Turner (Newton). Subs not used: Stevens, Dowdell, Newton.
Burgess Hill & Hurst Albion 1 Bosham 6
Sussex League division three
Bosham continued their fine start to the season away to the new-look Burgess Hill & Hurst Albion.
The newly-merged team have taken big steps this season with Burgess Hill realising their dream of playing county football. But Bosham bought them crashing back to earth in emphatic style.
Bosham were up and at it from the off and after only four minutes Kieran Hartley opened the scoring. A typically-flamboyant finish rounded off a swift move and keeper Darren Williams was left rooted as the left-footed effort sailed in.
It was a long time before they could extend the lead as they conspired to go off the boil, allowing the Yellows to show good intentions in attack. But Simon Hasted was in no mood to let anything past.
Approaching the interval, the Reds finally doubled their lead. After good work from Andy Probee and a shot from Marco Giambelardini coming off the woodwork, Hartley let fly from the edge of the box and his effort with the outside of the right boot flew into the net, sparking tremendous celebrations.
Only a minute had passed into the second period and the game was effectively over as contest when Alex Barnes conjured up a piece of magic to add further damage to the Yellows. Barnes expertly controlled a long ball from Probee and, after mesmerising Stuart Kempton, produced a sublime lob to make it three.
Frustrations for Hurst boiled over after that as one player saw red after two successive fouls on dangerman Hartley.
Hartley completed his hat-trick as he made it four from the spot following a handball shortly after the hour mark.
A few minutes later, top scorer Dave Storey got in on the act with a sublime finish to make it five. This time the pacy striker latched on to a through ball and sneaked the ball past the dive of Williams to make it eight goals in three games.
Bosham continued to press and got a little careless at the back late on, allowing substitute Andrew Davies to let fly from long distance and beat Hasted.
Injury time saw a second spot kick to the Reds, this time converted by Giambelardini to round off the scoring.
This made it five wins from five for Bosham and they remain top, with Roffey keeping up the pace behind them.
Bosham host Roffey this Saturday.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Docherty, Dowden, Wilson, Giambelardini, Barnes, Lancaster, Hartley, Storey, Don. Subs: Redman, Brett.