Bexhill United Football Club eclipsed its points total for the whole of last season after two goals in the last 20 minutes secured a good away victory on Saturday.
Kyle Holden’s first goal of the season and Kion Parchmont’s first strike for the club gave the Pirates a 2-0 win at Sidlesham in Southern Combination League Division One.
The result took Bexhill up to 56 points from 25 league games and they ended last term, in seventh place, with 55 from 34 matches.
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Bexhill have convincingly dispatched a number of teams outside the top five this season, but they were made to work for the win on this occasion as Sidlesham made it tough for them.
The visitors had a lot of the play during the first half, but Sidlesham kept plenty of bodies in their defensive third and Bexhill’s final ball on a very rutted and bobbly surface let them down a bit.
Bexhill had a goal disallowed for offside when they tucked away the rebound after Jack McLean’s deflected shot was spilled by the home goalkeeper. They also struck a few pot shots over the crossbar.
Sidlesham broke very well and had some pace in attack. The home side blazed a couple of efforts over the top and had a rather hopeful penalty appeal turned down.
Even though they weren’t winning, Bexhill were pleased at half time. They, nonetheless, changed their game plan slightly for the second period, opting to hit diagonal balls a bit sooner and not allow Sidlesham to get back into defensive positions so quickly.
The plan worked to a degree as they enjoyed a bit more space to work in. McLean, who was influential throughout, saw a deflected shot loop up onto the crossbar and a couple of balls across the face of goal were just out of reach.
Bexhill made a double substitution, bringing on new signing Joel Kalambayi and Parchmont, and switching to a 4-4-2 formation. The change proved dividends as the substitutes linked up really well and made a big impact.
They started creating more and the breakthrough came in the 75th minute. Holden took the ball on the turn just inside the box and as it bounced, struck a half-volley which beat the goalkeeper into the opposite corner.
The outcome was in little doubt thereafter and Bexhill wrapped up the points with a second goal 10 minutes later. Parchmont picked the ball up 20 yards out on the right and cut in before hitting a left-footed shot which bounced into the far corner of the net.
Bexhill: Rose; Robertson, McGuigan, McFarlane, Lopez; Holden, J. Bunn, Foster (Kalambayi); Shonk (Parchmont), Greenall, McLean.
Southern Combination League Division One top half standings (played-points): 1 Steyning Town 24-60 (+42 goal difference), 2 Alfold 24-58 (+42), 3 BEXHILL UNITED 25-56 (+54), 4 AFC Varndeanians 24-49 (+29), 5 Selsey 25-45 (+22), 6 Littlehampton Town 24-37 (+10), 7 Hailsham Town 24-35 (+8), 8 Wick 24-32 (-8), 9 Seaford Town 24-30 (-7).