Westfield win seven-goal thriller - Sidley top after win over Eastbourne Rangers
Westfield went into the game with Cuckfield knowing three points were needed to kick start their season - so they were delighted to win 4-3.
Westfield started the match brightly and appeared much improved from last week. Jacob Shelton and Wayne Giles were getting on the ball and creating chances and Westfield looked dangerous each time they went forward.
Cuckfield had other ideas. Ten minutes in, the ball was played in down the Westfield right hand side and was calmly slotted away by Cuckfield. Westfield responded almost immediately however, left back Stefan Davies providing a piece of real quality, shooting from twenty yards and burying his shot into the bottom corner.
Cuckfield showed great composure and again went ahead. The ball was lost in the centre of Westfield’s midfield and following a controversial free kick, Cuckfield scored following a header that looped over Westfield keeper JJ Blanche. Cuckfield continued scoring from every opportunity they had and once again created a chance down the Westfield right hand side. Another composed finish followed.
Just as it looked as though Westfield were going to head into the break 3.1 down, Warren Pethig whipped in the ball from the right and Wayne Giles tapped in.
Westfield’s George King, quiet up until this point, then came to life. King came close with a rasping effort from the left. Minutes later however King was not to be denied, scoring a superb individual equaliser, beating two players and smashing in.
Westfield started the second half on the front foot. George King once again created problems for Cuckfield. Warren Pethig had a header cleared off the line and Jacob Shelton had a goal disallowed.
On the four mark George King won a penalty and Westfield striker Josh Pickering made no mistake from the spot to make it 4.3. Westfield clung on to their lead and were fortunate not to concede as Cuckfield hit the woodwork and had another shot cleared off the line.
Chris Rea was a commanding presence at the back for Westfield and along with Martyn Durrant, kept out Cuckfield and denied them an equaliser.
Westfield Chairman Jack Stapley was pleased with the response shown “We could have folded once we were 3.1 down after just half an hour. We dragged ourselves back into it however and showed great fight and determination. That little bit of quality we were missing last week was present today.
Westfield XI Blanche, Maclean Rea Durrant Davies, Shelton Giles Farrance, Pethig Pickering King.
Eastbourne Rangers 1 - 2 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division
Two late goals turned this game around as Sidley United came from behind to steal victory at Eastbourne Rangers.
The home side began well and had the ball in the net when a free kick from the left was turned home but this was correctly chalked off for an offside offence. That really though was the highlight of the first half as an even battle ensued with both sides rather cancelling each other out.
Thankfully the second period was more lively but it was Rangers who struck the opening blow on 52 minutes. A good move down the right hand side saw the ball fired across the box and, in trying to clear, Josh Elliott-Noye was unfortunate to turn the ball home for an own goal.
This lifted Rangers who may have got a second before the game became a little fractious in the final quarter. Sidley levelled on 82 minutes when they counter attacked on Rangers and the ball fell to Paul Rogers who hit a firm strike which the home goalkeeper could not keep out despite getting a hand to it.
A frustrated Rangers player was then sin-binned for dissent, further gifting Sidley the momentum. And from a corner on 87 minutes substitute Zac McEniry headed home after the Rangers goalkeeper got lost in the crowd in the middle to give Sidley the lead.
Sidley substitute Arron Scrace was shown a straight red card from the sideline for delaying the restart of play as tensions rose on the sidelines but Sidley kept their heads on the pitch to hold on and take the points and make it 2 wins from 2.
The MoM award was split between Steve Hickman and Chris Cumming-Bart. Next week Sidley travel to Sedlescombe Rangers.
Sidley: Winterton, Crabb, McCue, Elliott-Noye, Hickman, Ellis, Foster, Carey, Baldwin, Cumming-Bart, Rogers. Subs: Elphick, Cornford, Trickett, McEniry.