Westfield Football Club’s delight at a fifth straight victory was tempered by a serious injury to its captain.
The Westies won 5-2 at home to Clymping in Macron Store Southern Combination League Division Two on Saturday, but Martyn Durrant suffered a fractured ankle.
Durrant was caught by a lunging tackle from an opponent as he effected a clearance during the first half, sparking a bit of a skirmish between the two sets of players.
The central defender went to hospital and was placed in a protective boot. The full extent of the injury and approximate time on the sidelines will become clearer once the swelling goes down.
Westfield joint manager Jack Stapley said: “It looked a bad tackle from where I was. I don’t think there was any malice in it; I think he’s just gone to block the ball.
“The injury seemed bad straight away. He usually gets up pretty quickly, but it swelled up straight away and he couldn’t put any weight on it.
“I think he’s played every game bar one this season, he’s always at training and always gives 100 percent. He’s been at the club the longest as well. Hopefully it’s not too serious.”
Westfield fell behind early on when they were caught out by a quickly taken free kick as they were still setting up their defensive wall.
That seemed to get Westfield going and they went on to lead 2-1 at half time, although Stapley admitted they probably didn’t deserve to as goalkeeper Gavin Bourne had made several saves.
Westfield levelled through a goal of the season contender from the in-form Allan McMinigal, who showed tremendous technique to volley a lovely Terry Payne cross into the top corner from 18 yards.
Jake Adams then put them in front, bustling his way in to meet Asher Grindle’s corner with a simple header from six yards.
Westfield performed a lot better during the second half. On a very heavy pitch, their ball retention was much-improved and they took control of the game, restricting Clymping to few chances.
The home side went 3-1 up through a decent goal from Grindle, who broke down the left, committed the full-back and beat the goalkeeper at the near post as a cross appeared likely.
Westfield’s fourth goal was something you might see on a Christmas blooper DVD. Grindle tackled the goalkeeper, who didn’t realise he was there, and tapped into an empty net.
Clymping pulled a goal back when a cross-shot from near the touchline sailed over Bourne and into the net, but Westfield had the final word.
Slav Stoyanov scored his first goal for the club in competitive football, finishing well from an awkward angle after Grindle latched on to Stapley’s ball over the top and crossed into the area.
Stapley added: “It was a good win. We didn’t play very well. I just think the week’s break (Westfield’s match away to Sidlesham the previous weekend was postponed) hasn’t done us any favours at all.”
Westfield: Bourne; Gravett, Stapley, Durrant (Barrett), O’Prey; Ward, McMinigal, Adams; Grindle, Carey (Stoyanov), Payne (Cochrane).