Wick seal derby-day success away to Blues

Rustington's Gavin Heater challenges Wick's Sean Dobbs on Saturday.

Rustington's Gavin Heater challenges Wick's Sean Dobbs on Saturday.

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WICK & BARNHAM United Football Club secured a derby day victory away to Rustington in County League Division 2 on Saturday.

Wick fell behind just before half-time when Gavin Heater scored for the home side, but strikes from Ash Harper, Kerry Hardwell and Kieron Playle-Howard meant the visitors took all three points.

Jon Tucker, Wick’s boss, was delighted to pick up the victory and said: “It was really pleasing to come away with all three points and secure a derby win.

“We did not play to the best of our ability in the first half but I had a serious word with them at the break and the second half was a lot better.

“It was important to follow up our victory against Worthing United and, fortunately, we did that.”

It was Rustington who made the better start to the game and went in front seven minutes before the break through Heater.

The Blues should have doubled their advantage just five minutes later when Adam Collyer was played in but his shot struck a post.

Collyer once again had an opportunity to make it 2-0 but he failed to find the net with a chipped effort.

Wick got themselves back on level terms when Harper crashed home a right-footed drive on 68 minutes.

The visitors then took the lead for the first time just six minutes later when Playle-Howard found the net.

Rustington felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Simon Clarke went down but play was waved on and Wick sealed their win on 77 minutes.

Hardwell bagged his 13th goal of the season to open up a two-goal cushion.

Nick Precious could have pulled a goal back for Rustington with five minutes left but he dragged his shot wide of the goal.

Rustington boss Trevor Waller was left frustrated by the defeat and said: “It was really disappointing to come away from the game with nothing. We started the game well and found ourselves a goal in front at the break.

“We probably should have been two or three ahead when they got their equaliser and once they scored, our heads dropped.

“I can’t fault the effort from the players, though. We had a number of first-teamers out and those who came in did a great job.”

Wick travel to Midhurst on Saturday, while Blues entertain Oakwood.

RUSTINGTON: Challen; Bennett, Precious, MacIver; Fraser, Heater, Clarke, Atterbury, Clarke; Baker, Stakim. Subs: Collyer (Baker), Whitehead (Collyer), Miles.

WICK & BARNHAM: Jordan Matthews; Enticott, Urquhart, Playle-Howard, Cox; Anderton, Noble, Dobbs, Joseph Matthews; Harper, Hardwell. Subs: Parsons (Joseph Matthews), Hutchings (Anderton), Bagyura (Noble).