A win for Newtown Villa at Bosham, victory for Wittering United at Pulborough and a home defeat for Chapel all feature in our latest round-up of West Sussex League action.
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Bosham 2 Newtown Villa 3
West Sussex League premier division
The first day of December brought Newtown Villa to Walton Lane and a double from Matt Russell ensured they took the spoils.
The Reds went agonisingly close to maintaining their unbeaten run but ended up reflecting that all good things come to an end.
Bosham got off to the perfect start on a cold and crisp afternoon when Neil Redman was the beneficiary of a woeful clearance and needed no second invitation to smash the ball home inside the first minute and stun the Blues.
This needed to be built upon but Bosham were finding the conditions testing and, despite good pressure and territory, couldn’t extend their lead.
Graeme Dowden went close to doubling the advantage when attempting the spectacular only for the crossbar to prevent the Bosham striker’s overhead effort from finding the target.
Newtown keeper Adam Feast breathed a huge sigh of relief as the ball was cleared, allowing Villa to launch a fresh surge on the Bosham half.
Just before the half-hour, the equaliser finally came. After good work down the flank, Tom Dahl-Jansen provided the perfect low cross into the box and Russell was just yards out to tap home into an unguarded net.
The Blues deserved to be level as their enterprising play had caused Bosham problems and the pace of Luke Allen and Matt Robb had the Reds back-pedalling on several occasions.
Bosham had hardly regrouped when the Blues nabbed a second strike to edge in front.
Ben Blanshard conceded a penalty with an alleged shirt pull and Russell stepped forward to slot the ball home and give Villa a crucial lead going into the break.
The Reds needed to settle quickly and but the renewed confidence of Newtown kept them at bay and, after the interval, things were to get worse for the Reds.
The Blues went 3-1 up within a minute of the restart. A shot from Dahl-Jansen came back off the post and the striker produced a lovely cross for Allen to blast home.
With Bosham’s unblemished league record in serious danger a quick response was required and certainly they tried - but their efforts came to nothing.
A lovely move after the hour brought a lifeline when Joe Hancock worked space down the right and provided a beautiful cross on to the head of Redman, who scored with ease.
Bosham poured forward to try to secure an equaliser but just couldn’t find the finish to all their tiresome work.
The Blues were within inches of adding gloss to the score in injury time but Matt Docherty was on hand with a last-gasp clearance to keep Bosham in the game.
Time ran out and Villa could celebrate an important win. However many positives could be drawn for Bosham and thoughts of league glory can’t be extinguished yet.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Brett, Jack Hancock, Joe Hancock, Redman, Dowden, Wilson, Probee, Docherty, Blanshard, Davies. Subs: Fewell, Maitland
Lavant crashed 6-2 at home to West Chiltington, also in the premier division.
Pulborough 1 Wittering Utd 2
Wittering grounded out a scrappy 2-1 win against a tough Pulborough team to remain unbeaten in the league.
Wittering settled first with their neat passing creating the majority of possession. The Warriors were unable to turn this possession into clear-cut chances.
Greg Robinson and Darran Cox had half chances but nothing of any note.
On 15 minutes Wittering were hit on the counter-attack and conceded the first goal of the afternoon. A Barry McCoy free-kick was cleared by Pulborough and a through-ball opened up the Wittering back four.
Wittering resorted to a quick fix of longer balls and killer through-balls.
On 25 minutes they were dealt a major bit of luck when, after good work from Darran Cox, an excellent cross from Jamie Buitenhuis was turned into his own net by a Pulborough player.
Ash Rochester ensured the teams went in level when saving a one-on-one chance right on half-time.
Wittering dominated play and possession for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Martyn Westcott replaced Alan Sheppard, and Tom Jefkins - now in a more advanced midfield role - nearly gave the visitors the lead, striking the post from 20 yards after being teed up by Cox.
The Warriors edged in front when Cox fired in a low cross that was turned goalwards by McCoy for Westcott to tap home from a yard and open his account for the season.
Manager Gary Jefkins said: “This was a very poor performance from the boys. However if you are to win a league you sometimes need to pick up three points when you play badly.
“Alex Pearce and Jamie Buitenhuis were excellent coming into the team and probably dragged us through for the points.”
MOM was Greg Robinson.
WITTERING: Rochester, Pearce, Cowell, McCoy, Smith, Sheppard (Westcott), Buitenhuis, Robinson, J Jefkins, T Jefkins, Cox.
Chapel 1 Fernhurst Res 7
Div five south
A weakened Chapel found themselves facing the majority of Fernhurst’s first XI after their game was cancelled.
Nonetheless gave as good as they got during a first half which saw them go two goals down early on and they pulled one back just before half-time through Chris Smith.
Fernhurst put the game beyond Chapel at the start of the second half with four goals in 15 minutes.
A further goal with 20 minutes to go ended the scoring although both sides went close in the dying minutes.