Bexhill United’s footballers wrapped up their home programme in style with their biggest win of the season.
The Pirates triumphed 5-0 on Saturday against a Selsey side which had won five of its previous six Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One matches.
Joint manager Ryan Light said: “It was absolutely fantastic. It came a little bit out of the blue bearing in mind we were off the back of three defeats, but that almost gave us a blank page to start from and with one eye on next season, we thought we would experiment a bit.”
Bexhill switched from their familiar 4-5-1 formation to a 3-5-2 system, with recent recruit David Pugh joining Drew Greenall in a ‘Pugh and Drew’ front two.
Light felt that having two forwards made a big difference to Bexhill, who found that the ball wasn’t coming back so quickly after they cleared it with the front two winning a number of flick ons.
Bexhill thought they would be in for a tough game bearing in mind Selsey’s recent form and the play was fairly even until Bexhill took command with two goals in quick succession towards the end of the first half.
The opener was exquisite. Pugh and Greenall linked up and the latter fooled just about everyone with a cracking backheel through the away defence from the edge of the box. Georges Gouet marauded forward from right wing-back and timed his run perfectly before clipping a lovely finish into the far corner of the net.
Bexhill doubled their advantage shortly before the break. A free kick from around 40 yards out was clipped into the area by Craig Ottley and Gordon Cuddington buried a bullet header into the bottom corner.
While very positive about the 2-0 scoreline, Light addressed one or two slight areas of concern at half time, notably his desire to force Selsey to play through the more populated central areas.
“Second half I couldn’t fault us,” he continued. “It was almost a perfect second half. We were strong, competitive, used the ball well and Selsey never really got into it.”
Bexhill’s third goal effectively killed the game off. A corner led to a bit of a scramble and the ball broke to Pugh, who scored his first goal since returning to the club with a neat finish.
The fourth goal was arguably on a par with the first for the goal of the game. A cross from the left found its way through to level with the far post and Cuddington connected perfectly with a volley which left the goalkeeper rooted to the spot as it screamed into the net.
It was Cuddington’s ninth goal in Bexhill’s last seven games and 17th of the season, and he now looks certain to finish the campaign as the team’s leading scorer.
Corey Wheeler completed the rout with a great individual goal. The substitute started his run from just inside the Selsey half on Bexhill’s left and went round two opponents on his way into the box before applying a fine finish into the far corner.
It was a clinical display in front of goal from Bexhill, while at the other end, goalkeeper Dan Rose only really had one save to make all game but caught everything well throughout.
One of the few negatives for Bexhill was midfielder Kyle Holden picking up his 10th yellow card of the season, which could well result in a suspension.
Bexhill: Rose; McFarlane, Robertson, Kidman; Gouet, Holden, Giles (Wheeler), Cuddington (Butchers), Ottley; Pugh (Shelton), Greenall.
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