Midhurst busy on and off pitch... Selsey's seasonal success... Stalemate for Sids and Robins
There's been little time for Christmas rest and relaxation for our two local SCFL division-one sides Midhurst and Selsey.
Both were in action last Saturday and again on Boxing Day – and both can be reasonably pleased with their festive points haul.
Midhurst, who now have Shane Brayson as first-team manager, kicked off their holiday period with a 2-2 draw at home to Lingfield.
Gary Norgate got both for the Stags.
Things got even better for the men from Rotherfield on Boxing Day as they edged a Christmas classic 4-3 at Billingshurst.
The home side were able to celebrate a hat-trick by Dave Watts but Midhurst won the day thanks to strikes by Liam Dreckmann, Lewis Hamilton (2) and Kieran Carter.
Carter is one of four new signings unveiled by the Stags in the past ten days.
The 22-year-old has joined from Hayling United, having scored 15 goals in 16 appearances for them this season.
He has been a major part of the Humbugs success over the past two season in the Hampshire Premier League.
Rich Carter has also signed from Hayling, where he was club captain. He’s regarded as a strong midfield player with a great engine.
Also new to Midhurst is Ryan Harrison, a young and exciting player with bags of potential who has been playing regularly in Hampshire football.
The fourth new man was unveiled yesterday.
Aaron Behan, 28, is a defender who can play at right-back or centre-back.
Boss Brayson hopes the new faces will help lift the Stags from their present 14th spot.
They host Selsey on Saturday.
* For their part, Steve Bailey’s Blues have also had a decent Christmas so far.
They began with a fairly-routine 2-0 win over Seaford at the High Street Ground.
Ryan Morey continued his fine recent run with the opening goal on 34 minutes.
Morgan Forry doubled the lead when he converted a Mike Abdo cross on the hour and the result was never in much doubt after that.
Selsey were back in home action on Boxing Day and they began well, taking the lead in the 19th minute through Tom Jefkins.
Wick, with former Selsey striker Rob Wimble in their side, levelled just after the half-hour through Andrew Weir. Morey scored from a free-kick early in the second half to restore the Blues’ lead.
Ashley Hawkes was sent off for the visitors after picking up a second yellow card, but Lee Baldwin’s team didn’t let them stop them staging a comeback.
Alex Kew levelled for them – and they even hung on after Weir became their second man sent off.
Four points from the two games left Steve Bailey’s team seventh ahead of the trip to Midhurst on Saturday.
* Sidlesham and Bosham cancelled each other out in their traditional festive meeting.
It finished 0-0 at the Sids’ Memorial Ground, which did little for either side’s hopes of joining the title race as the campaign reaches its midway point.
Daren Pearce’s Sidlesham are best placed of the near neighbours to challenge top two Roffey and Rustington in the coming weeks – sitting five points behind Rustington, who are just one point behind the leaders.
Bosham, after a switchback season so far, are eighth and a further six points behind Sidlesham.
They have it all to do if they are to retain the division-two title they won last year.
Sidlesham resume their challenge when they go to Clymping on Saturday, while Bosham are at home to Lancing.
Other leagues featuring local teams are taking a two-weekend breather for Christmas and the New Year.
When the West Sussex League action resumes on January 6, Nyetimber Pirates will be out to see if they can retain the premier-division title they claimed last spring.
Angmering seniors lead the table by three points at present and have played one fewer game.
But those two are well clear of a pack that includes Newtown Villa.
Lavant are well back in eight, a place in front of Predators.
In the Championship south, two of our local teams are leading the charge for honours.
Petworth and East Dean are level on points at the top, although the men from Petworth Park are top on goal difference and have played one match fewer than The Dean.
In the FA WPL Premier South, Chi City Ladies went into the festive break in a healthy sixth place.