Bosham and Sids begin new year with a bang
Bosham began 2017 as they ended 2016 - in winning form, beating Clymping 5-1 at Walton Lane.
They shrugged off a determined performance by Clymping to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the SCFL division two table.
The match was switched to Walton Lane with Clymping having no home ground at the moment.
The Robins had already beaten their visitors earlier in the season but started sluggishly, allowing Clymping to ask a few early questions of the Bosham back-line – but these were answered with a stern rebuff by the toughest rearguard in the league.
Bosham were dealt a blow when Matt Docherty was forced off with a recurrence of a knee injury, Tom Warren deputising.
Both teams found it hard to create decent chances but Jay Walden and Sam Leggatt both looked dangerous on the ball with their pace – but there was a lack of quality in the final third for the Blues and Kieran Magee had little to do between the sticks.
Alex Barnes had an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock – he burst through on goal but an excellent last-minute challenge from Adam Foster and good work from keeper Dean Brook-Marsh saved the day.
Five minutes later the deadlock was broken by the impressive Graeme Dowden. He finished from the spot after referee Barry Cox had awarded a contentious penalty for handball.
Right on half-time the Reds gained a crucial second through top scorer Marco Giambelardini. Brook-Marsh made a hash of a cross into the area and Callum Fewell forced the ball goalwards. Giambelardini pounced on the loose ball and thumped an effort on to the bar from around ten yards – but the ball rebounded to the striker who headed the ball back into the empty net.
The Robins were sluggish after the interval and an energised display from Clymping had them on the back foot.
Not long after the hour, they got their reward with a goal. Magee parried a cross and it landed at the feet of Leggatt, who fired home to give his side renewed hope.
Minutes earlier Leggatt had struck the woodwork when it looked easier to score.
It took the Robins only a few minutes from the restart to restore their two-goal advantage as Dowden netted his second with a smart finish at the back stick from a lovely delivery from player-manager Andy Probee.
Brook-Marsh made a sensational save to deny Dowden his hat-trick but Giambelardini sealed the points with a pure striker’s finish from a lovely through-ball from skipper James Wilson.
Giambelardini secured his hat trick in injury time, and with it returned to the top of the league scorers’ chart with a tally of 24 goals so far this season.
So the unbeaten streak continues and Jarvis Brook are next to try to halt the juggernaut when they make the long trip to Walton Lane this Saturday.
Bosham: Magee, Probee, Bulbeck, Docherty, Wilson, Fewell, Bell, Miles, Barnes, Giambelardini, Dowden. Subs: Warren, Redman, Coombes.
Rustington 0 Sidlesham 3
SCFL division two
Sidlesham returned to winning ways at Rustington after the disappointment of losing to Bosham on Boxing Day.
Sids knew Rustington, under new manager John Tucker, would make it tough but started well and the lively Callum Dowdell went on a terrific run early on, only to be stopped by a cinical challenge from the home side’s full-back.
It wasn’t long before Sids took the lead as a great ball released Tom Bayley and he crossed for Dowdell to head in at the far post.
Dowdell went close again after a good run and shot. Next Bayley was close after being played in by Tom Jefkins.
Only the occasional breakaway from the home side needed to be dealt with and Sids’ defence managed this, with Connor Kelly in the away goal not tested.
Sids went 2-0 up when a free-kick by Greg Robinson curled over the wall and into the top corner.
The home full-back was sent off after hauling down Jefkins when through on goal.
In the second half started Sidlesham were on top but the final pass sometimes lacked accuracy.
Dowdell and Ben Buckland combined down the left and Bayley, Dowdell and John Phillips set up Tom Kelly to fire home the third.
Sidlesham gave a debut to young Harrison Birmingham and promising youngsters Reece Colbourne and Callum Litterick had the chance to show how well they have come on.
Litterick went close after a one-two with Bayley and Colbourne combined well with Birmingham down the right but Sids could not add to their tally.
Sidlesham are back at home this Saturday with Alfold the visitors for a 2pm start.
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