Mavericks march on... Wick stunned... Rustington leave it late
Worthing United kept up their 100 per cent record in the SCFL Shield by beating Wick - while Rustington were glad of a late strike that secured a semi-final spot. Here's how Worthing and Littlehampton-area teams have fared in the competition over the past few days...
Worthing United are the 100 per centers in their SCFL Supplementary Shield group.
With the curtailment of the 2020-21 season because of the pandemic, the SCFL organised cup competitions for member clubs.
The Mavericks found themselves in Group B of the Division One Supplementary Shield together with Storrington, Wick and Shoreham.
On Saturday, the Mavericks won their fifth group game out of five, with only a game against Shoreham to come at home tonight (Tue 27).
With a semi-final berth already in the bag, the midweek match is, in effect, a dead rubber. But don’t try telling that to manager Danny Wood and his players, who will be going all out for a 100 per cent record as the group phase reaches its conclusion.
The Mavericks began their campaign with a convincing 4-2 victory at Storrington. As a contest, the game was virtually over by half-time, by which time the Mavericks led 3-0 courtesy of two headed goals by Dan Hills and a Callum Thoms penalty. Captain Dillon Nagle added a fourth goal after the break and the three points were safe.
Next up was an away fixture at Wick and the Mavericks returned home with a hard-earned 2-0 win with first half goals from Hills and another Thoms penalty.
The Mavericks completed their away fixtures with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Shoreham. Two more penalties from Thoms, and goals from Hills and Dillon Nagle proved too much for ten-men Shoreham.
Further victories followed in the Mavericks’ home games. Storrington were beaten 2-0 with an own-goal and a Craig Nagle strike from close range, and last Saturday Worthing United defeated Wick 2-1 with a thunderbolt from Craig Nagle and a James Thurgar goal.
Club spokesman Keith Perryman said: “These are certainly good times for the Mavericks. They are playing fluent, attractive football and it is a crying shame the games are being played without their band of loyal supporters. Let’s all hope for a proper full season come August.”
* After Saturday's loss to Worthing United, Wick said they were dismayed Conor Bull controversially saw red while four players were sent to the sin-bin in the last ten minutes of a match played in good spirits by both teams.
The Dragons were reduced to eight men at the final whistle but coach Warren Pye said: ‘It was a tough match for us as we had a depleted squad with injuries, suspensions and unavailability but we put in a heck of a good performance.
‘We went 1-0 down to what can only be described as an outstanding strike and played well against a side who deserved the win in the reverse fixture at Crabtree Park. We felt there was some questionable decisions at the end but the players pulled together through the adversity of being down to eight men.’
Mile Oak went second in their SCFL Shield group with a 2-1 home win over Bexhill on Saturday. It’s been a good campaign but ahead of tonight’s final game, away to AFC Varndeanians, they are unable to oust Seaford from top spot.
In the premier division shield, East Preston enjoyed a 1-0 home win over near neighbours Pagham.
In the division two contest, Worthing lost 5-0 at home to Montpeilier Villa to ruin their hopes of finishing top of their group.
Rustington FC secured their semi-final place with literally the last kick of the game on Saturday as Regan Miles' 25-yard effort flummoxed the Rottingdean keeper to see the hosts secure all three points - and with Worthing Town convincingly beaten by Montpelier Villa it meant a semi final berth was secured before the final round of group games.
In very blustery conditions Rustington were on the front foot from the star and early chances came and went, Josh Irish and Chris Darwin both coming close for the hosts.
Rustington felt a goalbound effort was punched away by visiting skipper Ollie Rowland only for ref Wayne Webb to wave away the appeals and allow the game to continue. Their frustration was made worse when just 10 minutes later the visitors took the lead against the run of play.
The home side were hit on the counter attack and the Rottingdean striker made no mistake and clinically finished past Billy Nash. With the strong wind behind them Rustington continued to push forward but some sloppy passing and wayward finishing hindered them.
Honours were soon to be even as once again the impressive James Butt headed home a Chris Darwin cross to see the scores levelled. At this stage you felt Rustington would push on but a spree of yellow cards saw the game lose any flow and the sides went in all square at half-time.
The second period followed the pattern of the first. Rottingdean were assisted by the strong wind behind them and certainly looked more dangerous going forward. The experienced Ollie Rowland at centre half was a dominant figure at the heart of their defence and the difficult conditions seemed to hamper Rustington.
Chris Darwin’s weak long range effort when the goalkeeper was out of position and a couple of half chances for the tireless Irish were as good as it got for the home side although the Rottingdean keeper did produce a couple of classy saves to keep the home side at bay early on in the half.
Darwin prevented the visitors snatching a late winner when his tracking back and clearance saw danger averted with Rottingdean three on one with only Billy Nash to beat. But Rustington never give up and their desire was to be rewarded.
The ball fell to Miles and his speculative effort somehow managed to nestle its way into the far corner, beating the otherwise impressive young Rottingdean keeper - sparking wild celebrations and confirming a place in the last four for the slightly under par Blues. 2-1
Rustington will face one of Upper Beeding, TD Shipley or St Francis Rangers in the semi final on Saturday, May 8.
Rustington – B Nash, J Beaney, M Gilchrist, A MacIver, R Miles, J Oliver, J Cleall, G Peters, C Darwin, J Irish, J Butt. Subs – C Bennett, J Bennett, O Chick, J Crouch, L Huggett.
* Apart from taking the ball from the net after being beaten from the penalty spot in the 35th minute, Yapton goalkeeper Bradley Legge had an almost completely quiet afternoon. Yet his side lost 1-0 at home to Whyke in their West Sussex League group match.
A fairly harsh handball decision against Calum Hadaway led to the penalty and though Yapton had the lion's share of the play, they created few clear chances. From the best of them, the Whye goalkeeper made a stunning save from Liam O'Connor. Near the end, Whyke lost a player, sent off for two bookable offences.