Tucker delighted as Blues pick up a point

Kerry Hardwell was taken to hospital in an ambulance after sustaining a serious injury at Westfield on Saturday. Picture: Simon Newstead
Kerry Hardwell was taken to hospital in an ambulance after sustaining a serious injury at Westfield on Saturday. Picture: Simon Newstead

Jon Tucker was pleased as his Rustington Football Club side came away with a point from their Southern Combination League Division 2 clash at Westfield on Saturday.

Chris Darwin had fired Blues into an early lead but Aaron Cochrane levelled on the half-hour as it ended 1-1.

The match was marred by a serious knee injury to Rustington forward Kerry Hardwell. With ten minutes played in the second half, Hardwell went down following an aerial challenge. A 25-minute delay followed with an ambulance called, before the game was completed.

Taking the injury into account, Blues boss Tucker was delighted to come away with a point and said: “We battered them in the first 20 minutes, then they got level with their first chance. Considering the injury to Kerry, the talent that Westfield have and the length of the trip, I was pleased to take a point.

“We think Kerry could have ligament damage, which will leave him out for six to eight weeks so his season may well be over but we won’t know until the swelling goes down.”

Darwin fired Rustington ahead after seven minutes, then saw an effort come back off a post five minutes later as Blues made a flying start.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Westfield goalkeeper Harry Stapley went down following a collision and there was then a ten-minute break before he was taken off and play resumed.

The break seemed to benefit the home side as Blues keeper Gareth Challen spilled a corner and Cochrane was on hand to tap home on the half-hour.

Another delay then ensued as Hardwell went down after an aerial collision ten minutes after the break. An ambulance was called, with Hardwell stretchered off, and there was a 25-minute break before play resumed.

Westfield were on top for the remainder of the match but backs to the wall stuff helped Rustington cling on for a point.

Blues welcome Montpelier Villa in the league on Saturday.

RUSTINGTON: Challen; Hurst, Ward, MacIver. Miles; Rowland, Heater; Matthews, Bennett, Darwin; Hardwell. Subs: John (Heater), Harvey (Hardwell), Walken (Hurst).

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