It was a week of contrasting fortunes for our local SCFL division one and two sides - with Sidlesham and Bosham enjoying good wins but Selsey and Midhurst both falling to defeat. Read all the reports here...
Billingshurst 1 Sidlesham 2
SCFL division one
A return to winning ways came for Sids as they stole the points right at the death against a spirited Billingshurst side.
Once again it was a makeshift Sids XI because of suspension, injury and unavailability. But the available players did the club proud in a hard-fought game played at a good tempo on a sodden surface.
The home side should have taken the game away from Sids in the first 15 minutes and would have done so had it not been for an inspired goalkeeping performance from Warren Boyt, making three outstanding saves early on, one of which brought a standing ovation from the home and away benches.
Sids grew into the game led by stand-in skipper Ben Mepham. Mepham’s vision in midfield allowed Barney Hitchcock to test the home side’s defensive pace and he combined well with Ben Dines numerous times down the right.
On 40 minutes a Mepham free-kick was glanced home by Dines to give the visitors a half -time lead.
Billingshurst started the second half as they had the first and, again, but for Boyt would have equalised but again the Sids keeper was inspired making two top-drawer saves.
Boyt could do nothing to stop Chris Spires firing home a free-kick on the hour to level things.
Sids introduced all three subs, new signings Jake Ebling and Sam Watts, along with Charlie Watts stepping up from the reserves, all coming on. They had the desired effect as Sids wrestled control away from the hosts.
Ebling, Brad Dean and veteran Dave Turner all should have done better when presented with glorious opportunities. On 85 minutes Tommy Lee Smith raced through only to see his effort blocked by the hand of a defender. Smith took the penalty himself and after his initial effort was saved, he converted the rebound.
Billingshurst threw caution to the wind but Sids held on to claim the points.
Sids host leaders Steyning this Saturday (3pm) at the Rec.
Worries over future of SCFL clubs
Selsey 1 Alfold 2
SCFL division one
Selsey manager Daren Pearce was disappointed with his side’s home defeat to Alfold.
Pearce felt his players deserved at least a point, as they created numerous chances, including a missed penalty late on.
He said: “We were unlucky. We should have got something out of the game.
“We were a little bit disappointed because I think they deserved something out of the game, more so than disappointed with how the lads performed. We played well enough to at least deserve a point.”
Pearce named an unchanged side from their 3-0 away victory at Storrington, where Lindon Miller’s double helped seal victory. However, it was Alfold who opened the scoring in the 17th minute through Johden de Meyer.
Nine minutes later, Selsey’s top scorer Ryan Morey equalised. But on the hour, the visitors scored what proved to be the winner through Kieron Purkis.
Selsey had chances in the latter stages including the penalty that was saved, but they’ll have to rue their missed opportunities and a wasted chance to close the gap on the teams above them.
Selsey stay fifth in division one and travel to ninth-placed Wick on Saturday.
Pearce thanked fans who attended on Saturday in awful conditions – they were repaid with free admission to watch the game.
He said: “They have taken on board what we are trying to do and also they’re backing the youngsters, the players that have come back to the club, and the likes of Ryan Morey that have stayed at the club. They deserve a lot of credit for that.”
Selsey: Kelly, Mockford-Allott, Atkinson, Hambleton, Higgins-Pearce, Phillips, Dowdell, Bennett, Miller, Jefkins, Morey. Subs: Bassil, Coates, Hall.
Chi City put cup woe behind them
* Midhurst’s weekend visit to Hailsham was called off after the Stags were unable to raise a team. They did manage it in midweek but lost 4-0 at home to Steyning.
The Stags are away to Alfold on Saturday.
* Bosham beat Littlehampton United 5-2 at Walton Lane. Conor Crabb, Ryan Coombes (2), Zackary Willett and Jake Lafferty got the goals. Bosham go to Worthing Town on Saturday.