It was a good week for our two local SCFL division-one sides, with Midhurst and Selsey both recording fine wins. The same can be said of Bosham of division two.
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Midhurst 4 Hailsham 2
SCFL division one
Midhurst continued their good run of form and have now recorded three wins and a draw, scoring 14 goals, in their past four games.
From the first whistle Midhurst set about taking the game to Hailsham and within ten minutes found themselves 2-0 up.
The first came on three minutes. A cross field ball from Liam Dreckmann set Kieran Carter free. The winger raced through on goal only to be tripped 25 yards out. The visitors’ defender was very lucky not to see red.
Up stepped Lewis Hamilton and his curling effort nestled into the top corner.
It was two only a few minutes later. After a Dreckman shot was parried for a corner, Harry Tollworthy whipped in a dangerous ball which was met by Aaron Beehan, who powered his header home.
Gary Norgate, Kieran Carter and Lewis Hamilton all had chances but were denied.
Billy Nash in the Stags goal had a quiet half while the back four of Nathan Casselton, Mark Broughton, Aaron Beehan and Harry Tollworthy were a tight-knit unit. Richard Carter, playing in front of the backline, was doing a fine job breaking up play.
Midhurst made it three on 30 minutes. Norgate picked up a loose ball on the visitors’ 18-yard box and threaded a ball to Hamilton, whose first-time cross was headed home by Harry Giles.
On 35 minutes another Tollworthy corner was headed home by Beehan only for the referee to rule it out for a foul by Giles.
The second half started with Midhurst slow, lacklustre at times, and sloppy play gave Hailsham a sniff.
On 65 minutes Danny Leach found himself bearing down on Nash only for Broughton to trip the striker. The Hailsham forward fired home for 3-1.
Hailsham had nothing to lose and it was backs against the wall for Midhurst. The visitors were playing with more freedom and got their second on 70 minutes.
The Stags manager took off Hamilton and Kieran Carter and brought on Joel Stevens and Ryan Harrison, who added spark to the hosts’ play. Both had a hand in Midhurst’s fourth.
Harrison picked up the ball 25 yards out and let fly with a fierce shot which was well-saved, but it fell to Stevens, who lofted a cross into Norgate at the back post to head home.
Midhurst travel to Old Varndenians on Saturday, January 27.
Midhurst: Nash, Casselton, Beehan, Tollworthy, Broughton, Carter, Hamilton (Stevens), Giles, Dreckmann, Norgate, Carter (Harrison).
AFC Varndeanians 1 Selsey 2
SCFL division one
Selsey made it seven games without defeat and kept alive their outside chances of promotion alive.
Varndeanians, under new management, were a completely different side from the reverse fixture earlier in the season – featuring experienced and dual-signed players from higher leagues.
Selsey dominated the first half although clear-cut chances were at a premium in a hard-fought midfield battle. The Blues had Tom Jefkins pulling the strings in midfield but to no avail as the few chances that were made were comfortably dealt with by the home keeper.
Varndeanians were a very direct side and launched the ball forward at every opportunity – but Selsey dealt with everything that came their way, skipper Rob Madden organising the back-line and returning keeper Warren Boyt also in good form.
Selsey started brightly in the second half and broke the deadlock on 47 minutes when Jake Goulding burst down the right and squared the ball for the onrushing Ryan Morey to force the ball home for his seventh goal in his past six games.
The goal sparked Varndeanians into life and they enjoyed their best period and launched a virtual siege on the Selsey goal but the Blues rearguard stood firm and took control.
Once calm was restored, Selsey again got the ball down and played the better football and were rewarded when Ryan Chittock put them 2-0 up with a fine strike from the edge of the box on 81 minutes.
The home side scored a late consolation through Elliott Wood but it was to late to affect the result.
Bosham 3 Roffey 0
SCFL division two
Bosham finally got their 2018 programme under way at Walton Lane with a sensational performance to defeat leaders Roffey 3-0 and blow the SCFL division two championship race wide open.
The victory reignites the Robins’ challenge after their mixed fortunes of the first half of the campaign.
An opening strike from Graeme Dowden was followed by a double by top marksman Callum Coker to see the Blues leave Walton Lane with their tails between their legs.
Five minutes in, a positive opening from the hosts was rewarded when Dowden rounded off a sweeping move to break the deadlock.
Grant Radmore found space down the right and powered towards the area. A low cross was missed by all and the Roffey defence failed to spot the late run made by Dowden, who latched on to the cross and sidefooted back across keeper Craig Lardent and in.
Roffey’s top scorers Harri Nourse and Ben Hands were a pair Bosham needed to keep quiet and the likes of James Wilson and Sam James were more than a match for them as the half wore on.
The visitors were left to feed off scraps and largely reduced to long-range efforts that had a glaring lack of substance and potency about them.
Bosham, in contrast, were lively and continued to press and cause concern at the back for the Blues. Radmore was a constant menace and Bradley Miles marshalled things from midfield.
Right on half-time Bosham took a two-goal lead when Coker notched his first of the game. Again Radmore was the instigator – from his cross Coker dived full length to head goalwards from just yards out and Lardent couldn’t keep it out.
Just a few minutes after the break, Bosham added a third. Miles drew defenders towards him and supplied the perfect ball through to Coker, who easily rounded Lardent and slotted into the empty net.
The game became more and more of a cruise for the defending champions and the management were able to make changes.
Jake Lafferty had already come on in the first half because of an injury to Alex Barnes and later Jack Hardman and Alfie Smith came on to replace Louis Bell and Harry Bedford.
Time ran out and Bosham could celebrate an emphatic victory that will surely kic- start a surge up the table.
Bosham: Hall, Bulbeck, Bedford (Smith 16), Bell(Hardman), James, Miles, Dowden, Coker, Radmore, Barnes (Lafferty). Unused sub: Docherty.