A VILLAGE once again has a football team to be proud of after AFC Southbourne kicked off for the first time on Sunday (September 6).
Running out 4-1 winners against Westmeads FC, the team is formed of friends and keen footballers led by Curtis Harrison.
“We’re trying to run it as professionally as we can,” he said. “Everyone in Southbourne wanted a team up and running.
“There’s not been one for five or six years, maybe even longer.
“I thought I would step up and get it back.”
After a difficult summer where it looked like they might have trouble getting a home pitch to play on, the parish council came through for them and the team won its first game in the second division of the Chichester & West Sussex Sunday Football League at the Park Road recreation ground.
“I enjoy it, I love football and it’s enjoyable,” said Curtis, who admitted it is hard work.
He is the chairman, treasurer, secretary, manager and player, ably supported by Adam Jones.
“We’re a good team – we’re all good mates,” he said.
“We’ve got some really good players there to be honest. We’re looking to challenge for our division.”
He said none of this would have been possible without their sponsor RS Roofing and Cladding who helped with their new kit and getting the team up and running.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Curtis.
He thanked the 25 fans who turned out to support the team on Sunday, adding he hoped they would make the next fixture against Westbourne FC.
“After a great pre-season for AFC Southbourne, today brought us to our first league match of the campaign which was won in emphatic style.
“Southbourne came out the blocks with urgency and determination. After some great passing throughout the team, chances came for James Breading, hitting the bar and putting one narrowly wide.
“At around the 15th minute James Breading found himself on the ball out on the left side, he hit a placed shot which found itself in the bottom corner.
“Shortly after Southbourne hit Westmeads on the break, a through ball was made by Marc Noble and finished by James Breading to give him a brace.
“Southbourne continued to impress with their defensive qualities and patient possession play.
“Marc Noble ran through defence and found himself one on one with the keeper. Both players went down and the referee decided to award Southboune the penalty.
“Centre midfielder Callum Fewell stepped up and calmly placed it into the bottom corner.
“Three minutes later the referee awarded Westmeads with a penalty of their own. The Westmeads player slotted away to get one back for the away side.
Southbourne then played out the rest of the half keeping possession and remaining in control to take in a 3-1 lead at half-time.
The second half started slowly and not much was really happening.
After some tactical substitutions Southbourne regrouped and then re-took control of the game. Chances soon followed but Southbourne where unable to capitalise until a delicious pinpoint cross from Joe Morley landed on James Breading’s foot who lobbed the keeper completing his hat-trick.
Southbourne then saw the game out with lots of possession and good passing.
Overall a terrific first result for Southbourne. It seems like a hard fought pre-season has paid off.
Some solid defensive work and great controlled passing saw us gain all three points in our first ever league game.”
Man of the Match - James Breading
The squad list for the season has been unveiled.
Goalkeepers: Liam Walter, Jamie Hedgcock; 2 Peter Lockyer; 3 Steven Soper; 4 Peter Linfield; 5 Calvin Soper; 6 Ryan Arnell (c); 7 Jake Dunk; 8 Jarred Partridge;
9 Adam Fiddy; 10 Curtis Harrison; 11 Tommy Hedgcock; 12 Shaun Breading; 13 Ryan Searle; 14 Marc Noble; 15 Adam Dunk; 16 James Breading; 17 Mitch Jones; 18 Adam Jones; 19 Harvey Turner; 20 Ben Johnson; 21 Callum Fewell; 22 Chris Fleet; 23 Joe Morley.
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