LITTLEHAMPTON Football Club hit Shoreham for six in a comprehensive 6-1 victory at The Sportsfield last night.
The visitors went into the game after back-to-back wins in the Southern Combination League Premier Division, 2-0 against high-flying Newhaven and 8-0 over bottom-of-the-table St Francis Rangers.
However, under the stewardship of first-team coach Matt Drew, with manager Simon Funnell unable to attend through illness, Shoreham found things tough going at The Sportsfield.
The game passed a 4pm pitch inspection to go ahead and the hosts won with goals from Ryan Bell (two), player-manager George Gaskin, Mitchell Hand, Shay Wiggans and Dan Kempson as they bounced back from a 2-0 defeat at Horsham on Saturday.
Littlehampton took the lead after just 11 minutes following a superb move. Littlehampton player-boss Gaskin sent Bell racing clear and he rounded Shoreham keeper Joe McLoughlin before firing into an empty net.
Mussels responded well and were gifted an opportunity to level four minutes later. Michael Belli broke into Golds’ penalty box and he was fouled by Luke Killner, with referee Jamie Wells pointing to the spot.
Scott Johnston sent Jon Hendrick the wrong way to level things up on 15 minutes.
Shoreham were buoyed by the equaliser and nearly went ahead three minutes later. Excellent link-up play saw Belli and forward Carlton Murray-Price involved, before the latter found Brad Curtis, who side-footed past Hendrick only to see his effort cleared off the line by Josh Bates.
That block proved crucial as Golds took the lead for a second time on 22 minutes. Mitchell Hand was left unopposed on the edge of the penalty area and fired a crisp left-footed drive low into the bottom corner.
Golds did not have to wait long for a third as Bell got his second two minutes later. The wideman beat the offside trap to latch on to Scott Packer’s pass and rounded McLoughlin once again before slotting home.
Mussels’ Bobby Webbe tried his luck from distance but Hendrick was equal to his effort, before Littlehampton went 4-1 ahead on 41 minutes.
Packer sent a ball into Gaskin and the forward took a touch on to his left foot and fired home.
Packer was denied by McLoughlin early in the second period, before Golds added a fifth on 63 minutes. Mussels failed to clear a corner and, with McLoughlin out of position, Wiggans volleyed home from eight yards.
Shoreham were really struggling by this stage and Littlehampton notched a sixth four minutes later. Gaskin thought he had got it with a toe-poked effort, only to see his shot strike a post but Kempson was on hand to tap home.
The home side piled men forward late on but failed to add any more goals to their tally.
Golds entertain bottom-of-the-table St Francis on Saturday, before hosting National South side Eastbourne Borough in the Sussex Senior Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Hendrick; D.Hand, McKay, Bates, M.Hand; Wiggans, Kempson, Kilner, Packer, Bell; Gaskin. Subs: Robertshaw (D.Hand), Hutchings (Bell), Ball (Kilner), Janman, Askew.
SHOREHAM: McLoughlin; Johnston, Pelling, Bettancourt, Harding; Curtis, Belli, Fleming, Chick; Webb, Murray-Price. Subs: O’Connor (Chick), Goodsir (Fleming).
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.