Midhurst defeated Rustington 5-2 in division two of the Sussex League to lift the spirits of players and supporters alike.
Before Christmas the team had struggled to play winning football and manager Trevor Waller needed a change in fortune.
A new year brought it as Midhurst defeated Steyning 4-3 and Little Common 3-2. Now the Stags have lifted themselves off of the bottom.
Fifteen minutes had passed when the first goal went in. A good passing move saw club captain Sean Dummer on hand to put the ball beyond Jack Bonetti in the visitors’ goal. Recent signing Michael Asare looked set to increase the lead but Julian Curnow cleared almost on the goal-line. Liam Dreckman made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but Karl Westbrook latched on to a good pass from Steve Curtis to narrow the margin.
The home side’s advantage looked fragile but the Midhurst defence were on top and the whole team matched anything Rustington could assemble.
On the hour Asare took a heavy knock and, although he was able to continue after treatment, he was unable to make his usual contribution.
Referee Duncan Brooker handled the game well and only two players – both for Rustington – were booked. Ross Adams replaced Dan Cooper for Rustington while Dreckman made way for Nic Castleton for Midhurst.
Asare played a quality pass to Ollie Pearce, who rounded the keeper to score. Pearce soon scored his second from an acute angle.
Asare was replaced by Stuart Day and the final few minutes saw a goal for each team – from Castleton for Midhurst and Curtis for the visitors.
MIDHURST: Williamson, Page, Dummer, Angell, O’Reilly, Saunders, Asare, Rowland, Platt, Pearce, Dreckman. Subs: Day, Castleton.
Midhurst visit Oakwood on Saturday.