Donnelly satisfied with Shoreham's steady start

Stefan Joseph struck for Shoreham in the bank holiday Monday draw with rivals Lancing. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Stefan Joseph struck for Shoreham in the bank holiday Monday draw with rivals Lancing. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Sammy Donnelly has been satisfied with Shoreham’s start to life back in the Southern Combination League - but admits his new-look squad have plenty of room for improvement.

Mussels battled back impressively on bank holiday Monday - coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with rivals Lancing at Middle Road in an SCFL Premier Division encounter.

Shoreham, who were relegated from the then-Bostik League South last term, have made a steady start back in the SCFL - picking up seven points from their opening five matches.

Mussels’ run in the FA Cup was ended on Saturday as they suffered a 6-0 defeat at two-divisions higher Southern League South Walton Casuals.

But boss Donnelly has been pleased with the way his new-look squad have started the season.

He said: “We’ve made a steady start but want to kick on from the position we are in now.

“There’s still plenty we can improve on and we’ll be looking to do that in the coming weeks. It’s not until around six or eight games in to a new season you really start getting a feel for things as a team and how things may pan out.

“We’re starting to reach a stage in the season where the squad are gelling and it’s down to us to keep getting results.”

Charlie Pitcher, on the back of scoring four in Lancing’s impressive FA Cup triumph over Greenwich Borough, and Matthew Daniel struck in the first half of the bank holiday Monday derby to leave Shoreham with it all to do. Stefan Joseph pulled one back on the hour then Omari Hibbert’s goal got Shoreham level at 2-2.

Mussels went in search of a winner to complete what would have been a stunning comeback but had to settle for a point. Shoreham goalkeeper James Broadbent was shown a straight red card for foul and abusive language a minute from the end with the home side seeing it out for a 2-2 draw.

Donnelly had mixed emotions after the entertaining derby draw with Lancers. He said: “We showed great spirit and character to come back and get something from the game. In the end we could have gone on and won it, it looked as though an effort had crossed the goalline, but we did well to get back in the game. It was an entertaining game, a typical derby and one I’m sure the neutral would have enjoyed.”

Shoreham were dumped out of the FA Cup following a 6-0 preliminary round thumping at Walton Casuals on Saturday.

Joe Hicks’ effort late in the first half was the difference but the home side ran riot after the restart - netting five times. Donnelly added: “You have to have a bit of luck when you go to these places. We did well in the first half but they got a goal minutes before half time then showed their quality after the restart.”

SHORHAM v Lancing: Broadbent; Kirk-Patrick; Osei, Firmin, McLennan; Rhodie, Hibbert, Myers; Bichard, Dalhouse, Joseph. Subs: Olulode (Kirk-Patrick, 70), Usherwood,, Garrivier, McCormick.

SHOREHAM v Walton Casuals: Broadbent; Kirk-Patrick, Dunk, Firmin, McLennan; Rhodie, Myers, Usherwood; Joseph, Dalhouse, Bichard. Subs: Thasarathar (Bichard), McCormick, Garrivier, Leitch, Trasnici.

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