Fortune again frowned on Bexhill United Football Club, whose bare 11 players were gallant in defeat at Selsey on Saturday.
Both goals came after Bexhill had been reduced to 10 men by injury and the Pirates also had a goal controversially disallowed for offside which would have brought them level at 1-1.
Bexhill manager Marc Munday said: “It was disappointing because of the hard work the lads that did turn up put in. It might not have been our first choice starting XI, but it was still a better side than what we’ve just lost to.”
Withdrawals on Friday night and Saturday morning left Bexhill down to the bare bones for their longest trip of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One season.
In fact, Bexhill made the near 70-mile trip west with only 10 players and collected Dom Haward from Chichester station to make up the numbers. What’s more, they only discovered while en route to Selsey that the match kicked-off at 2pm rather than the usual 3pm.
Despite all that and playing into the strong wind during the first half, Munday felt his team should have been 2-0 up at the break. Kevin Barden was denied by a couple of good saves, while Bexhill goalkeeper Adam Osborne pulled off a decent stop at the other end.
At half time Bexhill felt confident of coming away with a positive result if they could keep it going after the turnaround, but their cause was hit by the loss of Nathan Tudor to injury early in the second period.
Selsey took the lead, against the run of play in Munday’s view, on the hour. A scramble in the Bexhill box ended with David Turner shooting beyond Osborne.
Even though Bexhill were behind, Munday felt his team was having all the play when it had an equaliser controversially disallowed. Jack Aston’s free kick went straight in, but the linesman flagged for offside against a Bexhill player.
“We were astounded it was disallowed because it was a perfectly legitimate goal,” said Munday. “It was not offside. The ball has gone straight into the goal, no contact with anyone, no interfering or putting the ‘keeper off. It was gutting because the referee over-ruled the linesman in the first half, yet for the goal he hasn’t.”
With Bexhill throwing everything forward in pursuit of an equaliser, Selsey broke away and added a second goal right at the end through Ryan Morey to complete the double over Bexhill. Billy Rayner stepped up from the under-18s and had a steady game at full-back.
Bexhill: Osborne, A. Tudor, Rayner, Elliott-Noye, Cruikshank, Aston, Munday, N. Tudor, Barden, Haward, Wheeler.
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