It’s been a mixed week for Selsey, who followed a defeat at Arundel with a creditable 1-1 draw at East Preston in their battle to climb clear of the lower reaches of the Sussex League’s top flight.
East Preston 1 Selsey 1
Selsey picked up what may prove to be a vital point as they drew with high-flying East Preston on Tuesday night.
Matt Wood’s incredible second-half strike was the stand-out moment as they moved another point closer to top-flight safety.
The first good chance of the game fell to East Preston after just nine minutes.
Poor Selsey marking led to Craig Grantham receiving the ball unmarked on the penalty spot, but he shot wide with the goal
The home side missed another wonderful chance to take the lead. Joe Shelley crossed brilliantly only for Dan Simmonds to miscue his shot over the upright.
On the half-hour, a third glorious chance went begging for EP, Grantham again the guilty party, scuffing a shot when clean through.
Selsey’s only real effort of the half came from Ryan Morey’s excellent free-kick. Standing a full 25 yards out, his curled effort seemed destined for the top corner until the fingertips of Jack Fagan in the home goal intervened.
The second half turned into a fractious affair. A moment of quality was needed to break the deadlock, and that’s exactly what arrived.
A Selsey corner was cleared out to Wood a full 40 yards out, and after taking the ball on his chest he sent a dipping volley flying over the despairing lunge of the EP keeper to score what must be Selsey’s goal of the season.
But the away side’s joy lasted all of three minutes. A lapse in defensive concentration allowed Shelley to hook in his 22nd goal of the season.
SELSEY: Joyce, Haggar, Pointing, Williamson, Heggarty (Lambarsini), Lee, R Morey, A Morey (Ridley), Bush, Wood, Covill.
Arundel 3 Selsey 0
THE ten men of Selsey suffered a defeat to the ten men of Arundel.
Josh Biggs bagged a hat-trick to see off an injury-stricken Selsey side.
The Blues were missing key players but had some early chances and good possession without putting anything away.
It was evenly-contested until Selsey’s Jack Macfarlane was sent off on 38 minutes for a blatant handball in the penalty area.
Biggs slotted in the penalty to open the scoring.
Arundel had the better of the chances and doubled the lead, again from the penalty spot, on 70 minutes with Biggs converting again. Two minutes later, Biggs completed his hat-trick.
Arundel’s Alex Staines was also sent off.
Selsey manager Adam Hinselwood said: “We had a few chances but the second goal was the killer. We were making hard work for ourselves.
“You can’t be too despondent with them - they did all they could do.”
Hinshelwood is hopeful Macfarlane’s suspension won’t come into effect until next season.
He and his squad now have to regroup for their remaining games - which are with Dorking on Saturday and Crowborough on Monday.
“It’s down to me to be seen to be making us a competitive side - we have to give it our all,” said the boss.
“We need to start reacting to things before letting these things happen and hopefully we get a bit of luck goes our way.”