It was a tough week for Selsey and Midhurst in division one of the Southern Combination and Bosham in division two - but Sidlesham’s fine form continued as they closed the gap at the top of the the second division.
Here are all the latest reports...
Sidlesham 3 Alfold 0
SCFL division two
After overnight rain, great work from the Sidlesham groundstaff got the game on - and the home side were glad of it.
Sidlesham welcomed back Matt Roberts and started on the front foot with Greg Robinson pulling the strings in the midfield.
It wasn’t long before they created their first chance with Tom Kelly’s cross from the right just too high for Tom Bayley and Callum Dowdell. John Phillips was denied by a great save from the Alfold goalkeeper.
Although Alfold didn’t create much they always looked dangerous on the break, with their hard-working forward needing to be marshalled well by Roberts and Joe Leggatt.
With full-backs Ben Buckland and Steve Williams pushing on, Sidlesham went ahead when Tom Bayley turned and fired home after good work from Williams, Kelly and Phillips.
The home side went on to control the first half without adding to their 1-0 lead mainly because of good goalkeeping and a lack of composure in front of goal.
They did go close to their seconnd when Leggatt advanced out of defence and hit a thunderous drive from 40 yards with the goalkeeper well beaten.
The second half began with the home side getting their second as Phillips broke through and fired home.
Now in total control, they moved the ball around at will and created more opportunities with sub Dan Bassil going close.
Bayley and Bassil combined and only another good save from the keeper prevented a third.
Dowdell went close after being set up by a great run from Harrison Birmingham. Reece Colbourne and Phillips created an opening on the right but Phillips’ crosswas missed by two Sids players.
Sidlesham finally got their third when Bayley turned his marker before curling a sublime shot into the corner with the keeper well beaten, giving the home side maximum points on a wet afternoon to go within five points of leaders Bosham.
This Saturday Sidlesham are at home in the Intermediate Cup against Nyetimber Pirates (1.30pm).
Bosham 3 Jarvis Brook 4
SCFL division two
Bosham’s long unbeaten record came to a end as Jarvis Brook went away from Walton Lane with the three points to push the door ajar for the chasing pack at the top of the table.
Both sides keen to get an early foothold and the hosts made the better of tough, sticky conditions underfoot with the likes of Marco Giambelardini and Alex Barnes looking dangerous.
On ten minutes Giambelardini thought he had opened the scoring for Bosham from a tight angle, but was denied by the referee’s whistle for an infringement.
Barnes had a wonderful chance when in on goal but keeper Ben Limberger made an excellent save.
Just after the 20-minute mark the Reds broke the deadlock through Bradley Miles, who fired home through a crowd following a corner from Graeme Dowden.
This setback failed to stop Brook from pushing forward and both Mike Fuller and Nathan Millroy went close to drawing the Blues level but Kieran Magee made smart saves to deny them.
Bosham were dealt a huge blow as they were reduced to ten men just after the half-hour when Pat Bulbeck saw red for two uncharacteristic fouls in quick succession that brought two bookings.
Bosham regrouped but Jarvis Brook began to dominate and in first-half injury time Dan Lawrence drew them level, firing through a crowd from a corner that the Robins failed to deal with.
Frustrations nearly boiled over as the players left the field for the interval but things settled and Bosham came out determined not to let their one-man disadvantage affect them.
Bosham were ahead again after referee Paul Barratt pointed to the spot for a clear foul on Callum Fewell. Dowden converted from 12 yards.
In front of the largest home gate of the season, things continued to be a little spicy on the park with heavy tackles and Jarvis Brook were letting the officials know their feelings when decisions didn’t go their way.
A few minutes later they were level again through Tom Saunders, who slotted from the edge of the box.
Soon after the hour it was Jarvis Brook’s turn to be reduced to ten men when Dan Wright saw red for an off-the-ball incident and the Blues manager was also sent from the dugout for over remonstrating his dissatisfaction at that decision. This seem to intensify the visitors’ desire to win the game and, after Alex Barnes had a goal ruled out for offside for the Robins, the Blues went up the other end and went in front for the first time through Fuller, who headed in from a corner to put the visitors ahead with just ten minutes left.
Bosham sprung back to life from the re-start and the crowd were ecstatic when Miles dragged the Reds level with a sublime finish at the back stick following a brilliant cross from Dowden.
Bosham sensed an opportunity to push on for victory but a few minutes later an error at the back was to see the Reds turn a positive position into a devastating one as Daryl King nipped in to take advantage of a moment of sloppiness to nick the ball away and slot into the empty net to restore the visitors’ lead.
Bosham threw everything at the Blues as time ticked by with Miles denied by an excellent save from Limberger and Dowden and James Wilson going close.
But Jarvis Brook were able to celebrate a famous win at the fortress – Bosham’s first defeat since April 28, 256 days and 28 games ago – and the title race is definitely not over yet.
Bosham: Magee, Probee, Wilson, Dowden, Colinese, Fewell, Barnes, Redman, Giambelardini, Miles, Bulbeck. Subs: Coombes, Mullen, Sumnall, Warren.
St Francis Rangers 4 Selsey 0
SCFL division one
St Francis Rangers boss Simon Boddie said he was pleased for everyone at the club after his side picked up only their second league victory of the season - and it was Selsey who were on the wrong end of it.
Rangers had not won in the league since they beat Storrington 2-1 in September but goals from Christopher Haskell, Rhys White, Stuart Goodwin and Rhys White ensured a comprehensive win at the Colwell Road ground.
Selsey are back at their High Street Ground this Saturday when they host Lingfield.
AFC Varndeanians 4 Midhurst 0
SCFL division one
Varndeanians were too hot to handle as the Stags made the long trip to Brighton.
Matt Waterman’s double all but sewed it up for the hosts before George Bunch and Frederick Barker doubled the scoreline in the final ten minutes.
Midhurst head to Southwick this Saturday.
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