Shield campaign suits Pagham and Midhurst as Steyning and Oakwood are beaten
Pagham and Midhurst continue to prosper in their SCFL Shield groups. Here are the reports from their midweek endeavours - plus news from Midhurst Reserves' trip to Liphook and Unicorn United's clash with Barnham Trojans.
Steyning 1 Pagham 4
It was a pleasing night’s work for the Lions at Steyning.
Boss Kerry Hardwell said: “The boys controlled the game and played some really nice stuff. We retained the ball very well and the press was magnificent from all 16 lads who featured.
“I asked the boys to step things up after Saturday’s flat performance and even after going 1-0 down to a fantastic strike the boys didn’t rush their work.”
Joe Clarke headed Pagham level from an Ash Hawkes corner and Callum Chalmers flicked home another Hawkes cross just before half-time.
Jared Rance fired home from the spot on 70 minutes and Ben Clarke Eden got a fourth on 80 minutes.
Pagham head to East Preston on Saturday.
Midhurst 5 Oakwood 2
The Stags started at a good tempo andwere ahead in the second minute when a corner from Lewis Hamilton was headed home by Lewis Hyde.
Stags should have had a second minutes when Jake Slater set up Hamilton but he fired just wide.
The second arrived in the tenth minute with Slater forcing a good save from the visitors’ keeper for Marcus Bedford to tap home.
Oakwood were struggling to trouble Stags keeper Josh Bird. Hamilton was involved in the Stags’ third, setting up Slater to finish neatly.
Oakwood did pull a goal back just before the break with a well-struck free kick flying into Bird’s top corner.
In the second half both sides had chances in opening ten minutes and Hamilton was put through on goal to provide a cool finish.
With 20 minutes to go and Oakwood pulled a goal back, but the Stags got their fifth with ten minutes to go as Liam Dreckmann’s set piece led to Charlie Cooper volleying home.
Midhurst boss Andy Ewen said: “It was a good night all round. The whole squad got good minutes and the atmosphere in this group is really good.
“The lads are taking that on to the pitch and really working for each other, which is pleasing to see.”
Midhurst are due to host Billingshurst on Saturday and Roffey next Tuesday.
Liphook Utd Res 2 Midhurst Res 2
Midhurst came back from 2-0 to draw at Liphook.
On 20 minutes, excellent play by Liphook ended in Jamie Wells volleying the home side into the lead.
Midhurst had chances, including an effort that saw Sam Mercer lobbing Hampshire only for the ball to be brilliant cleared off the goal-line by Ben Giles.
In the second half Midhurst had an appeal for a penalty that was turned down.
Liphook goalkeeper, Hampshire made a couple of good saves but, against the run of play, the ball was slid through to Liphook’s Jack Plumridge who calmly slotted the ball into the net.
From the kick off Midhurst raced into the Liphook penalty area where Max Todd was judged to have fouled Sam Mercer, who converted the penalty.
Five minutes later, Midhurst equalised when Kieran Rogers ran on to a loose ball and scored with a well-judged volley.
Unicorn United 3 Barnham Trojans 1
A bar room bet has helped Alex Barclay shed weight and return to his goalscoring best for the Unicorn.
The striker scored twice in a win against Barnham Trojans in the West Sussex premier pivision Supplementary Shield and has scored four times in three matches since lockdown.
He has lost three stone by going on a strict diet and putting in the miles running along Bognor seafront. He said: “I had put on weight like a lot of other people during the first two lockdowns.
“When we were allowed back in the pubs last year, I stepped on some scales in the Unicorn and couldn’t believe what they showed.
“So I decided to do something about it, had a friendly bet with some pals and now I’m feeling in great shape.
“I’ve been running 5k in 29 minutes with the guv and it has helped me on the pitch. There’s a bit more work to do but I’m determined to keep going during the summer and I’ll be in the shape of my life next season.”
Joe Matthews put Unicorn ahead against the Trojans in the first half while Barclay scored from a free-kick and from close range to seal victory. He also scored in the opening group match to seal victory at Southbourne and was on target for Unicorn Sunday side.
Next up is a derby with Newtown Villa on Saturday.