Jamie Rowland 14, Ryan Warr 30, Pat O’Sullivan 50
Macron SCFL Div 2
Sat 19 December
A downpour before kick off left the Collwell Ground very soft but perfectly playable and provided a back drop to an entertaining game where both sides continued to play football despite the surface cutting up.
Sam Gunn and Leo Trower returned to the starting line up and JJ had his first start between the sticks covering for the suspended Dan Banks. Importantly with a full squad available we were able to rest young Justin Gregory nursing a strain, and look to the bench for reinforcements as the conditions took their tiring toll.
It’s fair to say it was a mixed afternoon for JJ ! Great saves at key moments, terrific handling and distribution…….and a couple of head down moments. For all that, he is making a massive contribution to this squad on and off the pitch, and for us to be able to turn to the big fella for his quality and experience for his first game in months makes us all the stronger.
While arguably there may have been a touch of fortune about both of St. Francis Rangers goals, they are a decent side and the margin of victory was about right in a game that ebbed and flowed.
The impressive Jake Lindsey set up the opening goal for Sam Wright at the far post after 8 mins. Beeding responded well with Jamie Rowland running across goal to finish a cross from Ryan Warr From 6 yards, and atone for a one on one miss from a delightful Pat O’ Sullivan flick on. Pat was to win….take….and hit the post from the penalty spot before the roles were reversed and Rowland was to turn provider for Warr to give Beeding the lead on 30 mins. Beeding were in the ascendancy and spurned enough chances to win 2 games as the interplay and movement of the front 4 defied the conditions and was an improvement on last week. With the half time whistle approaching, Lindsey levelled for Rangers with a right foot corner that swerved and dipped under the crossbar into the far corner. One of those things that can happen. HT 2-2.
The injury stricken Drew McGill was replaced by Ryan Singers. Beeding started the second half brightly and were soon in front when a deep cross was rescued by Pat and turning inside onto his favoured left, and smashed home to give us the lead. More chances went begging as the energy sapping conditions opened the game up. Fresh legs were needed, Harding and Towse came off the bench to keep the shape and intensity up and to good effect.
However, as tensions increased and frustration set in, a lack of composure saw us exposed to a panicky final 10 mins as JJ was sin binned reducing us to 10 men, Mike Spence required for the second game running to cover in goal, and pull off a super save ! The fact we held out owed much to the composure of the likes of Mike, Ryan, Callum and Lewie while others were losing their heads and giving away silly fouls that saw Rangers throwing everything at us in search of an equaliser. The relief at holding out for a massive 3 points on the road was tangible.
For 80 mins we were superb, and we learned much in the final 10 mins about what is required from potential title contenders. Lots of contenders for MOM in a big all round team effort, and we went with Jake Cockerton who put in his best performance of the season up against the dangerous Lindsey. Well played Jake.
We go into the Xmas break level on points with Rustington at the top of the table after they were comfortable 5 v 0 winners at home to Littlehampton Utd in a programme otherwise wrecked by postponements. Next up, we play fourth placed, and the only other unbeaten team in SCFL Div 2, TD Shipley on Tues 29 Dec ko 7 30pm at Steyning 3G. What a game, should be a cracker !
UBFC Line Up: Banasco Trower Jamieson Spence Cockerton Gunn McGill Ward Rowland Warr O’Sullivan.
Used Subs: Harding, Towse, Singers
Scorers: - Rowland, Warr, O’Sullivan
MOM: Jake Cockerton