It was a great Easter weekend for Sidlesham as victories over Selsey and Bexhill and neighbours Selsey eased their relegation worries.
Read the reports here plus news of other Southern Combination division-one action for the Blues and Midhurst plus a division-two defeat for Bosham.
And see our picture gallery, above, for some of the Sids-Selsey and Bosham action.
Bexhill 0 Sidlesham 1
Sidlesham 4 Selsey 1
Southern Combination division one
Sidlesham boss Gary Jefkins hailed a perfect Easter as his side did their chances of avoiding relegation no end of good with two wins inside 48 hours.
They followed a 1-0 success at Bexhill with a 4-1 thumping of near-neighbours Selsey at the Memorial Ground.
A delighted Jefkins said: “It was a really important Easter weekend for us in our bid to avoid relegation.
“We have been playing well without picking up points and so to put it all together over the two games and come out with six points is really pleasing.”
Jefkins wants the upturn in league form to continue over the final seven games – starting at home to Haywards Heath on Saturday – and is also eyeing the team’s second cup final in two years.
They are in the semi-finals of the Division 1 Cup, with no date yet for the tie against Langney.
Onb Saturday, Sidlesham inflicted Bexhill’s second successive 1-0 home defeat in a fixture which won’t live too long in the memory.
The all-important goal came after 26 minutes. A free kick from Sidlesham’s right was nodded down for the impressive Tom Bayley to drive past Bexhill goalkeeper Adam Osborne with his left foot.
Sidlesham probably had slightly more of the play during the first half as a whole, although Bexhill had more attempts at goal.
Bayley, a thorn in Bexhill’s side throughout, was denied by a good save from home goalkeeper Adam Osborne after dispossessing Dan Cruikshank in the box and later had the ball in the net with a cracking strike from just outside the D, but the flag was up.
At the other end, Mark Blanche’s driven free-kick was straight at goalkeeper Connor Kelly and Bexhill had a confident penalty appeal turned down when Kevin Barden was felled by Kelly.
Marc Munday’s far-post header from a Josh Elliott-Noye free kick was scrambled aside by Kelly and Jacob Shelton drove just over from the resulting corner.
After the goal, Blanche’s 25-yard strike was well held by Kelly and there was a decent chance for Gordon Cuddington, whose header from Aaron Tudor’s long free kick went straight at the goalkeeper.
Sidlesham looked in command after half-time and Tom Jefkins teed himself up for a volley which flew just wide before Bayley fired into the side-netting having got in between Munday and Cruikshank.
Bayley blasted wide of the far post from an acute angle following good work by Tom Jefkins and Joe Leggatt’s free kick from the left-hand touchline dropped just wide.
Bexhill started to spend a bit more time in Sidlesham territory after pushing Munday forward to give the attack a much-needed aerial threat, but an equaliser never looked likely.
Dan Bassil came close to a second for Sidlesham when his far post header at the end of a counter-attack was deflected wide off Brad Freeman.
At home to Selsey, Sids were off to a flyer as Tom Bayley and Joe Jefkins put them 2-0 up in the first 12 minutes.
David Rough pulled one back for Selsey before the break to set up a tense second half. But the hosts made sure of the points as Tom Jefkins and Bayley again struck in the final ten minutes.
Ringmer 2 Midhurst 2
Scott Dormer’s late goal earned the Stags a point at Ringmer.
In the first half Nana Baah’s goal for the home side was cancelled out by a Lewis Hamilton equaliser.
Terry Payne restored Ringmer’s lead early in the second half and it looked like it would be enough before Dormer popped up.
Midhurst’s planned home game againat Oakwood on Monday was washed out, along with many other games across the county.
The Stags go to Mile Oak on Saturday.
Selsey 3 Lingfield 1
Goals by Joseph Clarke, Ryan Morey and Lindon Miller earned Steve Bailey’s Blues another win.
Selsey led 2-0 at the break before Kerran Boylan made a game of it just after the restart. Miller wrapped it up late on.
Selsey visit Little Common on Saturday.
Bosham 0 Rottingdean 1
Southern Combination division two
Bosham went down to their first League defeat at Walton Lane this season as a Jack Doe goal right on half-time secured the points for Rottingdean.
The Robins went into the fixture missing a handful of players, including Neil Redman, Graeme Dowden, Ben Blanshard, Alex Barnes and Nick Edgington.
Rottingdean were also stretched, naming 49-year-old boss Russell Pannett amongst their substitutes.
Despite having good spells of possession in the first half, a set-piece swung from the left was to be Bosham’s undoing – Casey Marlow saw his effort rebound back to Doe, who smashed into the roof of the net from close range.
Dave Storey just failed to connect with a cross from the right early in the second hald which would have made for an intriguing conclusion, but Rottingdean defended resolutely for the remainder and held out of the win.
Bosham’s scheduled Easter Monday fixture at home to Ferring was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch at Walton Lane.
Andy Probee’s side travel to Montpelier Villa on Saturday, then next Tuesday, they will be playing AFC Varndeanians at Bognor’s Nyewood Lane ground (7.45pm). Admission is £3 including a programme.
The Rocks have lent the Reds use of the ground to help clear their backlog of games.
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