We can still win league, says Bexhill joint boss

Kyle Holden thumps the ball downfield during Bexhill United's 1-0 win at home to Ringmer last weekend. Picture courtesy Mark Killy
Kyle Holden thumps the ball downfield during Bexhill United's 1-0 win at home to Ringmer last weekend. Picture courtesy Mark Killy

Bexhill United joint manager Nigel Kane believes the football club can still win the league.

The Pirates lie sixth in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One at present - seven points behind leaders Saltdean United having played an extra game.

Kane said: “I wouldn’t be happy to stay where we are. We very much believe we’re still in the hunt. We’re five points off second place, but the aim has always been to win promotion.

“We will do our very best to win the league. I believe we can still win the league and it’s important everybody believes that.”

The top part of the table is very tight at present, with only a point separating second-placed Little Common and fourth-placed Mile Oak. Fifth-placed East Preston are four points adrift of Common with two games in hand.

Bexhill have picked up 30 points from their first 18 outings, beating Saltdean twice (once in the cup) and Mile Oak, but losing at home to third-placed Steyning Town and East Preston.

Corey Wheeler on the ball for Bexhill United against Ringmer last weekend. Picture courtesy Mark Killy

Corey Wheeler on the ball for Bexhill United against Ringmer last weekend. Picture courtesy Mark Killy

Bexhill have won four of their last five league games and scored 11 times in the process - an encouraging statistic for a side which had been short of goals prior to that sequence.

“We’ve got a bit of momentum,” continued Kane, who partly attributes the improvement in front of goal to extra shooting practice in training. “We’ve won five of the last six games (in all competitions) and we’ve scored in each of our last six games. We’ve started scoring on a more regular basis.

“It (the shooting practice) has certainly paid dividends and those goals have come from all over the pitch. We’ve also had a settled side and we’ve added a bit of quality. Drew Greenall is a real handful at this level; he looks a real danger and gives us a different option.”

Although Bexhill’s squad is young and inexperienced at senior level, Kane praised the players’ attitudes and willingness to learn.

“The one thing I would say is they’re like sponges,” he went on. “It’s a learning process and they want to learn. For some of them it’s their first season in senior football and the penny certainly seems as though it’s beginning to drop.

“They’re learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we’ve got a good team spirit I would say. Even when we’ve had the odd reverse, everybody’s stuck together.

“None of the players have shown any desire to leave and if the right player does become available, obviously we will be interested. But we have a settled squad and we don’t feel there’s any urgency to add to it.

“We’re still not quite the finished article yet and we’ll keep on working hard.”

Next up for Bexhill tomorrow (Saturday) is an important away match against Lingfield, who are one point and one place behind them with two games in hand.

Bexhill should be close to full strength for what will be only their third away league fixture in three months. Craig McFarlane hopes to shake off the rib problem which caused him to sit out last weekend’s 1-0 win at home to Ringmer, while Jacob Shelton is back in training following a hamstring injury and hopes to be fit for the Boxing Day derby against Little Common.

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