Pat O’Sullivan 85 mins (pen)
Macron SCFL Div 2
Sat 31 October
Just another League game ???........Not really.
With pre match chat dominated by speculation that Boris was about to announce a national lockdown and potentially no football for the foreseeable future, this felt more like a Cup game where we all knew the importance of finishing with a win, 3 points, and keeping the unbeaten start to the season going. A task not made easier by confronting a strong Littlehampton Utd, buoyed by their recent win against rivals and title favourites Rustington, capable of turning over anyone on the exceptional Sports Field green carpet. Focus was sharpened as news came through the weather had beaten the big clash between TD Shipley and Rustington.
The rain clouds cleared on a blustery day at kick off to reveal just the one change in the Beeding line up, with an ‘up for it’ Drew McGill preferred to Gunny in centre midfield, and Ryan Warr still in isolation.
Playing into the wind first half, possession and territory was largely dominated by the hosts, and Dan Banks was called on to make good saves to keep the score level. Beeding were looking good on the break with Ward and Harding testing the keeper but possession was being given way too cheaply and build up play ponderous to pose any threat. 0-0 HT, and all to play for. The break did for Matt Whitehead as a niggle from warm up tightened up, and was replaced by Jake Cockerton for the second half.
Downwind, Beeding were able build more sustained pressure in the second half but found the home team keeper in inspired form. Ben Ward hit the post and somehow the ball stayed out, a crashing half volley from Kris and Pat testing the Littlehampton defence saw us more on the front foot. The game continued to have a good ebb and flow, and free kicks needlessly conceded in dangerous areas, again saw Dan making good saves. The battle between Leo Trower and Lewie Jamieson and 2 of the Divisions top strikers in Hendrick and Foxon never disappoints, and this was no exception.
The match was decided by a penalty converted by Pat O’Sullivan with 5 mins remaining. Partisan views varied between stonewall to tad harsh, depending on your loyalties ! A draw wouldn’t have been an unfair outcome. A decent game of football. This is a much improved Littlehampton Utd side with quality players who are going to have a big say in the League this season, can beat anyone on their day.
A tough one for MOM this week but has to go to Ben Ward for his attacking threat in the 2nd half, created numerous chances and was unlucky not to score, well played Ben!
We go into what looks like an enforced break second in the table with 18 pts from 8 unbeaten games. There is much to do, and players taking personal and collective responsibility for retaining fitness and focus through the lockdown is going to be crucial. It’s in our hands……..
UBFC Line Up: Banks Gregory Jamieson Trower Whitehead McGill Towse Ward Rowland Harding O’Sullivan.
Used Subs: Cockerton, Gunn, Neatherway
Scorers: - O’Sullivan