Bexhill United aiming to scale new heights during run-in

Sammy Bunn on the ball during Bexhill United's last home game, against Worthing United, three weeks ago. Picture by Simon Newstead
Sammy Bunn on the ball during Bexhill United's last home game, against Worthing United, three weeks ago. Picture by Simon Newstead

Bexhill United manager Ryan Light says the football club is aiming to scale new heights in its final eight games of the season.

The Pirates sit third in Southern Combination League Division One - two points behind second-placed Alfold and four adrift of leaders Steyning Town having played a game more than both.

Bexhill were without a fixture last weekend and they are due to have three more blank Saturdays before the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

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Light said: “We’ve got to use the time off if you like to our advantage. We’ve almost used it as a time to reflect and a time to plan what’s ahead in the next eight games. We’ve got eight games that stand between us and possible promotion.

“We’ll maybe look at the way we play and the areas we could improve. It’s given us time on the training ground to hopefully take our game to a higher level for these last eight games.

“We’re not resting on our laurels and saying we’ve hit the highest heights we’re going to hit. Why not use this time to try and be even better in the last eight games?”

Bexhill are the highest scorers in the division with 74 goals in 24 league games and their +52 goal difference is also the division’s best.

Having lost 1-0 away to Selsey in their last outing two weeks ago, Bexhill will follow the same long route west when they visit 10th-placed Sidlesham tomorrow (Saturday).

“Hopefully we’ll come back with a much-improved performance and a more positive result,” continued Light.

“They’re not a team that’s erratic in their scorelines. They don’t really concede many, their scoring is okay and their games are quite close usually.

“They don’t get rolled over by many teams so we’re expecting a tough test, especially away from home. Our away form’s always good, and we’ll go there in really positive mood chomping at the bit to get playing again and get three points on the board.

“Most of the injuries have had time to clear up and everyone’s really looking forward to getting back out on the pitch on Saturday.”

Nathan Lopez was expected to train for the first time since his recent quadricep injury on Wednesday night and Bexhill should travel with a full squad.

“We’ve had a little look around to see if we can bolster the squad in any areas,” added Light. “We did issue a seven-day letter (for an un-named player at another club) last week. It’s not a necessity, but it’s always nice to have players in reserve that you can call upon. You never know what’s round the corner.”

Bexhill’s final game of the season, away to Mile Oak, now seems set to be played on its original date of Saturday April 27.

Although Mile Oak’s request to bring the match forward by a fortnight was accepted by Bexhill, the league have rejected it. As the top of the table is so tight, the league wants everyone to kick-off at the same time on the final day.

Bexhill United’s remaining fixtures: February 23 Sidlesham (a), March 9 Oakwood (h), March 23 Wick (a), March 30 Littlehampton Town (h), April 6 Midhurst & Easebourne (a), April 20 Steyning Town (a), April 22 Hailsham Town (a), April 27 Mile Oak (a).

Southern Combination League Division One top half standings (played-points): 1 Steyning Town 23-57 (+39 goal difference), 2 Alfold 23-55 (+40), 3 BEXHILL UNITED 24-53 (+52), 4 AFC Varndeanians 23-46 (+28), 5 Selsey 24-45 (+23), 6 Hailsham Town 23-34 (+8), 7 Littlehampton Town 23-34 (+5), 8 Wick 23-32 (-6), 9 Seaford Town 24-30 (-7).