Jack Shonk enjoyed a stunning debut as Bexhill United Football Club came from behind to win 7-1 on Saturday.
The former Brighton & Hove Albion youngster came off the bench to score three goals and set up two in a remarkable Southern Combination League Division One victory away to Storrington.
Bexhill manager Ryan Light said: “He was unbelievable - what a debut! It was frightening. He came on and lit the game up, nutmegging people, flicking it round them, he was just excellent.”
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The visitors started quite slowly, despite dominating the ball, and conceded an uncharacteristic goal. Storrington came through the middle and Kelvin Lucas rounded Bexhill goalkeeper Dan Rose to score.
Storrington tried to make themselves as difficult as possible to break down thereafter. Although Bexhill tried to probe, there wasn’t a lot of space and things became a bit frustrating.
Bexhill equalised, though, in the 38th minute. After Lewis McGuigan and Jamie Bunn were involved in the build-up, Wayne Giles’s cross was half-cleared to Liam Foster, whose shot bounced up and went in off the post.
It was, nonetheless, a frustrated Bexhill dressing room at half time, with the whole camp believing they could do much better all-round. Shonk replaced Giles, who had picked up an injury, and that change proved pivotal to the outcome.
Shonk put Bexhill ahead in the 52nd minute when he ran onto the ball following a lovely piece of play by Foster and coolly lifted it over the goalkeeper as he came out.
Three minutes later it was 3-1. Gordon Cuddington nicked the ball off Storrington’s right-back and played it to Jack McLean, who went round the last defender and finished neatly into the bottom corner.
Shonk made it 4-1 in the 67th minute with a free kick from around 22 yards which whistled past a very close-looking defensive wall into the bottom corner.
Shonk completed his hat-trick two minutes later. After Connor Robertson drove forward well from right-back, Shonk got to the ball before the defender and slipped it past the goalkeeper.
Sammy Bunn came on for his Bexhill debut and it wasn’t long before he got on the scoresheet, firing a rocket of a shot from 30 yards into the bottom corner in the 88th minute.
Bexhill completed the rout with a seventh goal two minutes later. Shonk went past a couple of players and slipped it to Jamie Bunn, who struck a powerful shot from the corner of the box which flew into the roof of the net.
Bexhill: Rose; Robertson, McGuigan, McFarlane, Rea; Holden, Foster, J. Bunn; McLean (Harley), Cuddington (S. Bunn), Giles (Shonk). Subs not used: Ottley, Lopez.
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