New Bexhill managerial duo get off to flying start

Gordon Cuddington opened the scoring during Bexhill's win over Saltdean United. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon
Gordon Cuddington opened the scoring during Bexhill's win over Saltdean United. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon
  • Bexhill United win 2-0 away to Saltdean United
  • Second half strikes by Cuddington and Ottley clinch cup victory
  • First competitive game for new joint managers Kane and Light
  • Seven new players feature in Bexhill’s starting XI
  • Pirates will travel to Shoreham in round two
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Bexhill United Football Club’s new managerial duo got their reign off to a winning start on Saturday.

Nigel Kane and Ryan Light looked on as the Pirates pulled off an impressive 2-0 win away to Saltdean United in round one of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League’s Peter Bentley Challenge Cup.
Light said: “They were bigger than us and stronger than us, but after 20 minutes we kicked into gear and they just couldn’t live with us in the end. It was a really good team performance with some outstanding individual performances, and 2-0 flattered them.”
Although Bexhill’s starting XI contained seven new faces, it was two of the survivors from last season’s squad who scored the goals in this all-Division One tie.
Second half strikes by Gordon Cuddington and Craig Ottley set up a second round away to Shoreham - who are expected to be among the Premier Division frontrunners - on Saturday August 20.
Bexhill opened the scoring on 53 minutes with an excellent team goal. A sequence of passes led to Georges Gouet getting free down the right and his early cross was turned into the bottom corner by Cuddington from six yards.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0. Kevin Barden was brought down in the Saltdean box and Ottley dispatched the resulting penalty into the top corner.
Other than the goals, Corey Wheeler struck the crossbar with a volley, while Cuddington and substitute Zak Olujobi were denied by Saltdean goalkeeper Erikson Aga in one-on-one situations. Bexhill also had several efforts cleared from on or around the goal-line.
Light said it was difficult to single out individuals in such a pleasing collective effort, but said the back four were outstanding, and praised the electric pace of the excellent Gouet and tireless workrate of Barden.
“The team was full of energy, the tempo was high, we played some good football and created lots of chances,” added Light. “Everyone stuck to the task.”
Bexhill: Rose, Robertson, Ottley, Kidman, McFarlane, B. Trickett, Gouet (Butchers), Cuddington, Barden (Olujobi), Giles, Wheeler. Subs not used: Shelton, A. Trickett.

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It was a really good team performance with some outstanding individual performances, and 2-0 flattered them.

Ryan Light