Midhurst marvels move into top six with wins over Selsey and Oakwood

Three goals in the opening 20 minutes were enough to give Midhurst a SCFL division one victory at Selsey - but they had to withstand a Blues’ fightback while playing the final 65 minutes with ten men. The game ended 3-2.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 8:00 am
Action from Midhurst's visit to Selsey / Picture: Kate Shemilt
Action from Midhurst's visit to Selsey / Picture: Kate Shemilt

Midhurst kicked off with the wind behind them and made a quick start. The first real chance came from a mistake in the Selsey backline and Matt Rowland found himself through on goal to beat keeper Syd Davies to give the Stags the lead in the seventh minute.

The next big chance also fell to the Stags as Harry Farr played a good ball into Rowland, who turned his man and split the Selsey defence with a great ball for Josh Sheehan. He rounded Davies and put the ball into the net.

The Stags kept the pressure on and Rowland got free again, Davies making a good save. The third goal arrived in the 20th minute when from a corner whipped in by Kieran Carter, Lewis Hyde tapped home from six yards.

Action from Midhurst's visit to Selsey / Picture: Kate Shemilt

The turning point arrived in the 25th minute as Rowland chased a long ball and made an attempt to win the ball with both feet off the ground and was dismissed, having caused Selsey a lot of problems in the opening 25 minutes.

Selsey came to life with Ryan Morey and Callum Dowdell getting in the game and causing the Stags a few problems. Dowdell got in down the right and put a good ball into Max Davies, who fired wide.

Selsey had a free-kick from the right with Stags keeper Josh Bird making a good stop. Stags defended well with Selsey missing a few half-chances.

The Blues started the second half on the front foot, but it was clear to see the Stags were going to be difficult to break down and this proved the case.

Action from Midhurst's visit to Selsey / Picture: Kate Shemilt

When Selsey did get behind the Stags back line Bird was in fine form making several good saves.

Davies forced Bird into a full-stretch save to his right, tipping the ball around the post. Dowdell got free on the right and his curling shot with his left foot just missed the far corner. On the few occasions Stags broke, they did create good chances.

Kieran Carter had a free-kick on the right that came back off the bar. Minutes later Carter got on the end of a free-kick and headed over. Bird made another good stop from Morey.

Selsey pulled a goal back in the 85th minute with a loose ball finding Morey, who beat Bird. Minutes later Stags gave away a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Up stepped James Cowan, whose right-footed strike flew into the top corner giving Bird no chance. Stags saw the remaining minutes out well, keeping the ball in the Selsey half.

Stags boss Lemmy Ewen was pleased with his side, saying: “We showed two aspects of our game. In the opening 20 minutes we blew them away and they’re a good side, they couldn’t cope with Matt Rowland at all.

“When we went down to ten men we become more compact and disciplined, the lads stuck together, the work rate and desire really pleased me.”

Selsey boss Daren Pearce said: “It was a disappointing result from our point of view. The lads started slowly and paid the price, falling behind by three goals in the first half . We never really recovered and although we got two back we didnt give ourselves chance to get anything out the game by starting that badly.

“We spoke frankly after the game that the level we started at is nowhere near acceptable compared to the levels we have had previously. No one player goes out to play badly or make mistakes but we had too many people off it and not at their normal levels.

“This will be put right this week by working hard in training for Saturday’s game.”

Midhurst beat Oakwood 5-2 at the Rotherfield on Tuesday night. Lewis Hyde led the scoring with a treble and Matt Rowland and Oli Page also chipped in.

Midhurst, up to sixth in the table, go to Bexhill on Saturday while Selsey, who are tenth, visit Billingshurst.

Midhurst: Bird, Wyatt, Casselton, R Carter, Farr, Liddiard, Sheehan, Hyde, Rowland, Slater, K Carter. Sub: Brown, Page, Giles.

Midhurst hosted Oakwood on Tuesday night.

Hunston Community Club 2 Petworth 0

West Sussex League Championship south

In a very poor display Petworth came unstuck at Hunston, with the hosts worthy winners.

Hunston took the lead midway through the first half with an excellent goal as a brilliant cross from the Hunston right was met by an equally good header to give them the lead going into half-time.

The second half was slightly better from Petworth but they didn’t really test the goalkeeper enough to warrant anything from the match, and Hunston secured the win on the break with five minutes to go to secure the three points.

Petworth: Lillywhite, Cain (Jupp), Ford, Burrows, Burrows, Torode, Pafford, Wells, Taylor, Banting (Carter), Scutt.

* Petworth Reserves lost 7-1 at home to Thakeham Village Reserves.