Bexhill clinch third straight victory

Bexhill United midfielder Wayne Giles seeks to evade the clutches of two St Francis Rangers opponents.
Bexhill United midfielder Wayne Giles seeks to evade the clutches of two St Francis Rangers opponents.

Bexhill United Football Club made it three straight wins in all competitions by seeing off bottom two opposition on Saturday.

Two goals in the first half and one in the second moved the Pirates up into Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One's top six.

St Francis were much-improved from the side which Bexhill beat 3-1 in August's reverse fixture and the ball spent more time in Bexhill's half than theirs during the opening 45 minutes.

But Bexhill displayed a clinical edge in front of goal to score with their only two noteworthy efforts on target before the break.

The opener came in the 29th minute when Craig Ottley's free kick from deep was cleverly headed across the box by Billy Trickett and Gordon Cuddington volleyed into the roof of the net from eight yards.

Bexhill's second arrived 14 minutes later via an unlikely source. Full-back Connor Robertson drilled a shot high into the net from the tightest of angles to score his first Bexhill goal.

Corey Wheeler in the thick of the action.

Corey Wheeler in the thick of the action.

Other than that there wasn't a great deal of goalmouth action at either end prior to the interval. Cuddington's looping header from a Georges Gouet cross dropped just over, while for St Francis, Sadiave Grant forced a smart save out of home goalkeeper Dan Rose and Sam Fildes headed just over at a free kick.

Bexhill proceeded to boss the second half and carved out a number of chances, but had to wait until the first minute of stoppage time to add their tally. Drew Greenall controlled a ball over the top on his chest before turning and slotting home left-footed for his first Bexhill goal.

Before that, Ottley sent a free kick just wide and delivered a corner which eventually made its way through to Trickett, whose left foot shot on the turn was well saved by away goalkeeper Jordan Markey.

Cuddington was unfortunate to hit the angle of post and crossbar from Gouet's headed knock down. Greenall's follow-up strike was well saved, as was Ashley Kidman's back post header from the resulting corner.

Gordon Cuddington and Corey Wheeler converge on a St Francis opponent.

Gordon Cuddington and Corey Wheeler converge on a St Francis opponent.

A looping header from Fildes dropped just over in a by now rare St Francis attempt. Gouet had a penalty appeal waved away moments later and Greenall's left-foot shot following a Cuddington flick on was pushed away by Markey.

The St Francis goalkeeper made a splendid double save to repel Cuddington's initial effort and Kyle Holden's follow-up, while Ottley's free kick was headed over by Greenall at the far post.

Greenall then latched on to Kidman's ball over the top only to pull his finish wide of the far post, but the recent signing finally did open his Polegrove account in the closing stages.

Bexhill: Rose, Robertson (Butchers 81), Ottley, Kidman, McFarlane, Holden, Gouet, Giles (Greenall 64), Cuddington, B. Trickett, Wheeler (Cunnington 76). Subs not used: Barden, A. Trickett.

St Francis wide player Rhys White runs at Ashley Kidman and Kyle Holden.

St Francis wide player Rhys White runs at Ashley Kidman and Kyle Holden.

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