Arundel told to keep calm after Pagham derby draw

Ben Gray netted but also missed a penalty in Arundel's defeat to Saltdean United on Saturday. Picture: Steve Robards
Ben Gray netted but also missed a penalty in Arundel's defeat to Saltdean United on Saturday. Picture: Steve Robards

Simon Hull is confident Arundel will keep calm in the SCFL Premier Division relegation battle.

Mullets were held to a 0-0 draw against rivals Pagham at Mill Road on Tuesday.

That saw Arundel slip a place to second from bottom following Little Common’s win over East Preston.

Yet Hull insists his side’s focus will not waver as they battle to avoid the drop.

With nine games to go this season, Mullets are two points adrift of 17th-placed Little Common and safety.

But manager Hull is keeping the faith and said: “It wasn’t one for the purists (against Pagham).

“It was a typical blood and thunder derby with no quarter given.

“The boys worked hard and I was delighted with the effort and work rate to back up Saturday’s performance.

“But there will be plenty of twists and turns in the run-in.

“We will stay calm and focus on our games and what we are doing.”

Hull had been eyeing some results to propel Mullets up the table as they faced three home games in a week.

However, a defeat to Saltdean United and the stalemate against Pagham means they’ve taken one point from a possible six in their past two outings at Mill Road. Now Hull wants his troops to complete a trio of home matches in succession by beating Loxwood on Saturday.

He added: “We’ll take the positives and hope we continue to match the work-rate and desire on Saturday when we host Loxwood – although we’ll need a little more creativity and quality in possession.”

Hull rued a lack of clinical edge as Arundel were beaten at home by Saltdean United on Saturday.

Goals from Ben Gray and David Crouch either side of the break saw Mullets claw back from two goals down, only for Jamie Brotherton to win it for Tigers late out, wrapping up a thrilling 3-2 triumph.

Striker Gray saw a spot-kick saved in the closing stages to add to Arundel’s frustrations.

Mullets manager Hull felt it was ‘criminal’ his team came away from the match with nothing.

He said: “It was probably produced one of our best performances of the season.

“How we came away from the game with nothing to show was criminal. I’d have felt hard done by with a point.

“We created enough chances to win two games Saturday but weren’t clinical enough in the final third.

“We dominated possession and if we maintain performances of that standard for the run-in, I’m sure we will pick up enough points to keep us safe.”

Toby House and Will Berry netted inside the opening half-hour to put Saltdean in command. However, Gray got one back five minutes before the break then Mullets were level when Crouch struck on 50 minutes.

A wave of chances were wasted by the home side, with Brotherton making them pay, firing Saltdean back ahead after 76 minutes.

Mullets were awarded a spot-kick soon after, although Gray’s effort was saved as they suffered defeat despite a spirited showing.

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