Wick relegated after draw with rivals Arundel

Asa Nicholson got Arundel's equaliser this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Asa Nicholson got Arundel's equaliser this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Wick Football Club's relegation from the Southern Combination League Premier Division was confirmed this afternoon.

Dan Simmonds' strike was cancelled out by Asa Nicholson's effort as Wick were held to a 1-1 draw by rivals Arundel at Mill Road.

Robert Hutchings saw a first-half spot-kick saved by James Fernandes to ensure it ended all square.

The result leaves second-bottom Wick ten-points off 17th-placed Worthing United and safety with just two games to go, meaning a finish outside of the bottom three this season is now not possible.

A fourth game unbeaten for Arundel edged them ever closer to Premier Division safety - currently in 15th - Mullets have a four-point cushion over third-bottom AFC Uckfield with two games left.

Lewis Jenkins should have fired Mullets into a 15th-minute lead. Dion Jarvis' defence-splitting pass saw the wing-back played in behind, though, he blazed over from close range.

Simmonds struck for Wick eight minutes prior to the interval as the game sprung into life. Rob Hutchings powered away down the left, before firing in a pinpoint cross for Simmonds to side-foot home.

Mullets were not behind for long, though, with Nicholson levelling seven minutes later. The ball fell fortuitously for the forward and he thundered into the bottom corner.

Wick were then handed a chance to go back ahead less than 60 seconds later from the penalty spot after Simmonds was felled in the area. Hutchings stepped up and saw his spot-kick saved by Fernandes as honours were even at half-time.

Harry Russell could well have fired Mullets ahead for the first time six minutes after the restart. Russell showed a great turn of speed, rounding Lewis Boughton, but he could only fire an effort into the side-netting.

Wick knew anything less than a win would see them relegated, so they pushed men forward in the closing stages but they could not snatch a winner as it finished 1-1.

Arundel make the trip to Peacehaven & Telscombe on Saturday looking to ensure Premier Division safety, while Wick welcome Newhaven for their first game since relegation was confirmed on the same day.

ARUNDEL: Fernandes; Lofting, Walker, Tipper, N.DaCosta, Jenkins; Mottershead, Jarvis, A.Biggs; Russell, Nicholson. Subs: Hall, Hunter (Lofting, 68), Richards (Russell, 72), Holmes (Tipper, 17), Grove.

WICK: Boughton; Eyres, Playle-Howard, Madden, Cox; Noble, Brown Chick; Hutchings, Simmonds, Wimble. Subs: Ediker (Madden, 57), Tite, Brazil (Cox, 75), Cashi, Bingham (Simmonds, 45).

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