Battling Westies run leaders close

Westfield manager Jethro Warren keeps a close eye on a Worthing United opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-150315-212559002)
Westfield manager Jethro Warren keeps a close eye on a Worthing United opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-150315-212559002)
  • Westfield narrowly beaten at home to leaders Worthing United
  • Henham and Warren twice put Westies ahead in first half
  • Westfield skipper Cuddington controversially sent-off late on
  • Six games without a win for Westfield
  • Westies lie fourth-from-bottom with three matches left

Westfield’s footballers gave table-topping opposition a good run for their money before succumbing to defeat.

The Westies lost 4-2 at home to Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two leaders Worthing United on Saturday despite leading twice during the first half.

Westfield had come agonisingly close to victory away to second-placed Wick & Barnham United the previous weekend and they built on that with a commendable battling display at a fairly sunny but chilly Parish Field.

Matt Dadswell headed just over from a Lawrence Brand corner before Westfield opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Central defender Sam Henham headed home from a superbly delivered Jethro Warren free kick.

Sam Blundell had a shot saved by Westfield goalkeeper Connor Holland and the same player missed his kick from another opportunity prior to Worthing equalising in the 18th minute. Scott Hunt struck a beauty from just outside the D into the top corner.

Warren drilled home a fine shot from just inside the box to restore Westfield’s advantage in the 29th minute only for Worthing to draw level again six minutes later. Paul Elliott skipped past Tom Archer on the away left before dribbling into the box and picking out the far bottom corner without being closed down.

Holland made another save from Blundell and the visitors, who looked to pass the ball at every opportunity, almost forced home the rebound as Westfield failed to clear.

In the second half, Elliott wasn’t far away with a shot from distance and Jacob Schilt’s low shot from outside the box bounced just wide of Westfield’s post either side of Dadswell hooking an Ashley Paine cross beyond the far post at the other end.

Worthing went ahead for the first time in the 65th minute with a goal which wasn’t dissimilar to Westfield’s opener. Aaron Hasan came up from the back to head a right wing free kick by Lawrence Edwards into the far corner.

Westfield didn’t lie down, though, and Brand’s looping header from a Warren free kick struck the crossbar before Dadswell - who toiled manfully up-front on his own - was denied by goalkeeper Matt Grimstone having been put through by Brand’s clever flick.

Worthing effectively put the outcome beyond doubt with a fourth goal in the 79th minute. After a mistake by Westfield substitute Steve Willis, James Wotherspoon worked space for a low shot which struck the far post and Schilt tapped home the rebound.

That wasn’t the end of the incident because Westfield captain Gordon Cuddington was highly controversially sent-off in the 83rd minute. Cuddington - who produced a typically energetic and industrious display in midfield - was shown a second yellow card for a tackle, although Westfield were convinced he had been fouled rather than committed the foul.

Westfield: Holland, Paine (Willis 76), Bell, Archer, Henham, Warren, Brand, Cuddington, Dadswell, Coombes, Burton (Stonham 86).