League not too concerned yet about games building up

Action from the Macron East Sussex Football League Premier Division game between Bexhill Town and Battle Baptists. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Action from the Macron East Sussex Football League Premier Division game between Bexhill Town and Battle Baptists. Pictures by Simon Newstead

The Macron East Sussex Football League fixture secretary says he’s not too concerned yet about the possibility of matches mounting up.

The league has been hit by a host of postponements as a result of several wet Saturdays since the turn of the year.

Bexhill Town win a header against Battle Baptists.

Bexhill Town win a header against Battle Baptists.

Last weekend just two just league games, plus a couple of cup matches, went ahead.

Fixture secretary Kevin Bray said: “We’ve had worse seasons than this; at the moment I’m not too worried.

“League-wise no problems whatsoever. We’re still over 60 percent played because we were quite a way ahead before Christmas anyway.

“The problem at the moment is we’re now at the stage where we would like to be playing a lot of cup quarter-finals, but everything’s just getting queued up now.

Bexhill Town and Battle Baptists tussle for possession.

Bexhill Town and Battle Baptists tussle for possession.

“Last year was a one-off season where everything went straight through no problem. Now we’re back to six or seven weeks of bad weather in a row and trying to get going again.”

At one end of the spectrum some clubs only have three league games to play, whereas at the other, teams such as Bexhill AAC and Sovereign Saints have only played around half of their league fixtures and are still going in three cups.

Bray thinks that at this stage only one or two sides will have to play midweek matches at the end of the season and if there are any double headers, there will only be half-a-dozen at the most.

Of the action which did take place last weekend, Battle Baptists increased their lead at the top of the Premier Division to five points with a 2-0 win away to fourth-placed Bexhill Town. Josh Pickering and Dean Boyd netted for the reigning National Christian Cup champions.

Battle Baptists on the ball during their 2-0 win against Bexhill Town.

Battle Baptists on the ball during their 2-0 win against Bexhill Town.

Battle, who have played two games more than second-placed Hollington United, have won all of their four matches in all competitions since the turn of the year without conceding a goal.

The only other league match to get the green light ended in a 0-0 draw between Bexhill United II and Wittersham in Division Two.

The result moved second-placed Bexhill within three points of leaders Icklesham Casuals, albeit having played one more match. Second-bottom Wittersham have now drawn six of their 11 league encounters - more than any other club across the league’s six divisions.

The bottom four teams in Division Two, incidentally, are covered by just three points and Wittersham are now one off the bottom.

Orington became the first team through to the semi-finals of the Coopers Construction Challenge Cup - for teams in Division Four and Five - following an 11-1 win at home to Icklesham Casuals II.

Scott Quested netted four times for the Division Four leaders, Adam How bagged a hat-trick, Dale Matthews struck twice, and there was one apiece for Andy Swindles and James McGrath. Stewart Marshall got the consolation for Division Five side Icklesham.

Icklesham Casuals’ first team saw its Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup hopes ended by a 3-1 quarter-final defeat away to Montpelier Villa II.

Fixtures are scheduled for all six divisions this coming Saturday, plus three quarter-finals in the Hastings & District FA Intermediate Cup, Junior Cup and Lower Divisions Cup.

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