Price expects close title race

New Rye United goalkeeper Ollie Jones

New Rye United goalkeeper Ollie Jones

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Rye United manager Scott Price is anticipating one of the closest title races for years.

With most teams in Sussex County Football League Division One now around a quarter of the way into their seasons, a number will be fancying their chances.

Price said: “It’s definitely a lot tighter than it has been. I think there will be four or five teams, and there’s not a lot between us. I do think this year is going to be harder, but I don’t think you’ve got a Three Bridges (last season’s champions).”

Early pacesetters East Preston hold a six-point lead having won nine and drawn two of their first 11 games, but the next five teams, the last of which is Rye, are separated by just two points.

Rye have picked up 21 points from their opening 11 fixtures, eight of which have been away from home, following the 4-1 win over Lingfield on Saturday and 1-1 draw with Peacehaven & Telscombe three days later.

“I’m very pleased,” Price continued. “We’ve only had one really disappointing result and that’s the Worthing game (Rye drew 2-2 away to bottom club Worthing United in August).

“We’re quietly in the mix. We’re not as talked about as we were last year. Everyone else is looking at everyone else, but we’re hanging in there.”

Ollie Jones saved a second half penalty against Peacehaven to prevent his team going two-down and has settled into the side well after making his debut last weekend.

Sam Adams, Anthony Storey and Jack Sullivan are expected to return for the trip to Lancing tomorrow (Saturday). Lancing have won their last five league games, keeping clean sheets in their last three, to move up to third.

See today’s new-look Rye Observer for the full article.