Westies boss hails ‘most complete performance’

Westfield midfielder Josh Barrett brings the ball under control against Upper Beeding. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Westfield midfielder Josh Barrett brings the ball under control against Upper Beeding. Pictures by Simon Newstead
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Westfield Football Club produced its most complete performance of the season in last weekend’s victory, according to joint manager Jack Stapley.

The Westies achieved a second successive Macron Store Southern Combination League Division Two win and clean sheet with a 2-0 success at home to Upper Beeding.

Stapley said: “It was definitely our most complete performance this season. I said last week they’re probably the best footballing side in the division, but I think we stopped them playing a lot of football to be honest.

“We set up really well, our attitude was brilliant and the workrate was fantastic. I would like to see how many yards Jason (Ward), Josh (Barrett) and Allan (McMinigal) covered in the centre of midfield because I would say it would be pretty high.

“We played to our strengths when we did have the ball with balls over the top. It was maybe not the prettiest football to watch, but it was effective.”

Westfield opened the scoring with the game’s first shot of real note. McMinigal rode a challenge in midfield and drove forward before hitting a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper tried to save with his feet rather than hands and only succeeded in diverting into the net.

Westfield joint manager Jack Stapley pressurises an Upper Beeding opponent.

Westfield joint manager Jack Stapley pressurises an Upper Beeding opponent.

The home side was on top until the last 10 minutes of the first half, during which time Westfield goalkeeper Gavin Bourne produced an outstanding save to preserve the lead, spreading himself Peter Schmeichel-like to repel a shot from six yards.

Westfield came out for the second period on the front foot and Bourne’s opposite number pulled off an unbelievable stop with his feet to deny Terry Payne.

A second Westfield goal appeared to be coming and it duly did when Josh Carey outjumped the Beeding goalkeeper to head Asher Grindle’s cross into an unguarded net.

Beeding enjoyed a strong 10-15 minute spell as Westfield dropped a bit deep and invited them on, but Bourne didn’t really have a save to make as Westfield won their headers and got their blocks in.

Dom McGurk sets off in pursuit of an Upper Beeding opponent.

Dom McGurk sets off in pursuit of an Upper Beeding opponent.

Westfield joint manager Jack Stapley said the hard-working Carey produced one of his best performances in a Westfield shirt, but gave man of the match to Jason Ward, who seemed to cover every blade of grass in midfield.

Westfield: Bourne; McGurk, Stapley, Durrant (Ramsay), O’Prey; Ward, Barrett, McMinigal; Payne (Cochrane), Carey (Shelton), Grindle.

Westfield are up to ninth in the 15-team division and are just two points outside the top six.

They will begin the second half of their league campaign this coming Saturday with a trip to third-placed Jarvis Brook - a team they’ve lost their last three meetings with.

Westfield man of the match Jason Ward holds off an opponent.

Westfield man of the match Jason Ward holds off an opponent.

“Saturday’s massive for us,” continued Stapley. “They’ve always been a side that’s had the edge on us, but I think it will be a very even match-up on Saturday. Both our strengths are very much the same.

“We’re in a much better place than we were a few weeks ago and we’ll go there with confidence.

“With every positive result we have, we’re moving up the table and we still have aspirations of getting in the top four or five.”

Stapley expects availability to be good for a fixture which he believes makes sense to play on Saturday rather than Boxing Day. Young winger Sean Agun has joined the club on loan from Sutton Common Rovers.