Super sub Ash fires Wick to victory at Littlehampton

Ash Harper scored twice in Wick's win at Littlehampton
Ash Harper scored twice in Wick's win at Littlehampton

Two late goals from substitute Ash Harper gave Wick Football Club the local bragging rights and all three points at Littlehampton on Tuesday evening.

With the score 1-1 with just a couple of minutes to go, Harper struck twice to seal a 3-1 victory for Wick and earn Lee Baldwin his first win since taking over permanently at Crabtree Park.

Baldwin was delighted with his side’s showing and said: “I’m chuffed to get the win but in the past two or three weeks, performances have been getting so much better and it’s been coming.

“We brought Ash on to run in behind them and he’s scored with two very good finishes.

“There was a brilliant atmosphere afterwards and it was exactly what the club needed.

“It’s a relief to get my first win since taking over but it has been coming. I was in caretaker charge when we beat Little Common in the cup but to get my first proper win and in a local derby as well is brilliant.”

Clear chances were few and far between in the first half but Wick forward Kerry Hardwell twice hit the bar, before the visitors went ahead on 57 minutes.

Hardwell sent a 25-yard free kick into the bottom corner but Golds were level just two minutes later when Shaun Charles headed home a corner.

With the match heading towards a draw, substitute Harper broke through with a minute to go to put Wick back ahead with a clinical finish.

Littlehampton pushed forward for an equaliser but Harper got through again in injury-time to net his fifth goal of the season and seal all three points.

For Golds boss Ady Baker, there was much frustration with his side’s showing having gone into the match after back-to-back wins.

He said: “It was really frustrating as they wanted it more and deserved to win.

“In this league, you’ve got to earn every point. It looked like we’d done enough to get a point but all three of their goals have come from our mistakes which they’ve capitalised on.

“There was a 20 minute spell where we were on top in the second half but that was it and it’s just a really disappointing performance after a couple of good wins.”

Wick remain third from bottom in the SCFL Premier Division despite the win but are now just two points behind fifth-from-bottom Littlehampton with a game in hand.

Wick travel to leaders Shoreham in the league on Saturday and then head to Newhaven in the Sussex RUR Cup on Tuesday evening.

Golds head to Newhaven in the league on Saturday.

LITTLEHAMPTON: Hutchings; Peters, Hand, Bates, Chaplin; Kew, Ball, Janman, Gray; Charles, Asare. Subs: Darwin (Asare 50), Cole (Kew 65), Farrell, Cox, O’Connor.

WICK: Boughton; A.Brown, Playle-Howard, Madden, Bingham; Ediker, Weir, R.Brown, Chick; Hutchings, Hardwell. Subs: Harper (Hardwell 65), Noble (Ediker 75), Pye, Garnett, Brazil.

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