Tucker hails outstanding Rustington performance

Duncan Barnes got the winner for Rustington on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16154652
Duncan Barnes got the winner for Rustington on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16154652

Jon Tucker hailed Saturday’s 1-0 Southern Combination League Division 2 victory over Upper Beeding as the best in his two stints with the club.

Duncan Barnes headed the game’s only goal on the hour as Blues sealed all three points.

With just 12 players to choose from on the day, Rustington boss Tucker felt the commitment and determination from his patched-up side was exceptional.

He said: “It was an absolutely outstanding display and every single one of the players deserves great credit.

“At training on Thursday, I had 19 players to choose from but then come Saturday I had 11 available.

“It was a real concern going into it and I honestly felt it could have been a difficult day for us.

“Gareth Henderson had not kicked a ball for almost three years and he started up front for us, it was that kind of day and I think many of the players were worried.

“What followed was incredible and I would say one of the best displays from a team that I have ever managed. In my time with Rustington, this was definitely the best I have ever seen.

“At times it was not pretty, we had to grind it out and were hanging on a little bit at the end.

“These players have now shown me what they are capable of and it has given some healthy problems in terms of selection for the game we have coming up on Saturday.”

Beeding were quick out of the blocks and could have been two up inside five minutes.

First, Bradley Hatchett was pipped to the ball by a Rustington defender with the goal gaping after 90 seconds.

Then three minutes later, Jamie Rowland fired wide from ten yards.

Those misses came back to haunt Beeding as Barnes headed the game’s only goal on the hour.

Rustington will be looking to make it three consecutive league victories when they make the trip to high-flying Jarvis Brook on Saturday.

RUSTINGTON: Challen; Bennett, MacIver, Barnes, Miles; Heater, Robertshaw, Sassi, Turek; Curtis, Henderson. Subs: Woodward (Henderson), Lineall.

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