Bexhill do enough to see off basement boys
Although closer than it might have been, Bexhill United's footballers began the second half of their league programme with a home victory on Saturday.
A sixth minute strike from Georges Gouet was enough to give the Pirates a 1-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Ringmer in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One.
Bexhill joint manager Nigel Kane said: "We should've been out of sight by half time; I would argue we should've been three or four up. And it was quite nail-bitting I suppose towards the end.
"They're the games you've got to win. It's all well and good raising your game against the better sides, but you've got to put those lesser lights away.
"The pleasing thing was we kept a clean sheet and it's something we haven't done enough of this season. If we want to be competitive, we've got to start keeping more clean sheets."
Bexhill were missing influential defender Craig McFarlane through injury so Kyle Holden switched to right-back with Connor Robertson shuffling across into the centre alongside Ashley Kidman. Billy Trickett adopted a holding midfield role in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Bexhill managed 14 attempts on goal during the first half to Ringmer's three, but all they had to show for it was a clinical finish by Gouet, who raced on to a ball over the top of the away defence and shot just inside the far post.
Other than that, Wayne Giles had a couple of chances, as did Gordon Cuddington (who was denied by a great save), and Matt Cunnington also had a decent sight of goal.
The pattern was fairly similar during the second period, with Bexhill fashioning 10 attempts to Ringmer's four. But it was one of those games where the fact that Ringmer remained just the one goal behind gave them a bit of hope and made for a nervier finale than Bexhill would have liked.
Bexhill forward Drew Greenall created a number of opportunities for himself after coming on and was denied by an amazing save in the latter stages.
Holden and Gouet also came close, but despite failing to add to their tally, Bexhill kept things tight at the other end to complete the 'double' over Ringmer having beaten them 2-1 in August's reverse fixture.
"They were a much stronger side than what we faced early in the season," added Kane. "They didn't look like a team that had only scored 10 goals all season and I think they will take points off other teams. I would be surprised if they don't become more competitive."
Bexhill: Rose; Holden, Robertson, Kidman, Ottley; B. Trickett (Butchers); Gouet, Cunnington (Greenall), Giles (Willis), Wheeler; Cuddington.
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