Rye fight back to salvage draw

Sean Kelly salvaged a point for Rye United with an added time equaliser. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Sean Kelly salvaged a point for Rye United with an added time equaliser. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

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Rye United recovered from 3-1 down with less than 20 minutes remaining to draw 3-3 at home to Selsey this afternoon (Saturday).

In one of just four Sussex County Football League games to beat the weather, Selsey drew first blood through a neat finish from inside the box by Jack Bingham in the opening 90 seconds.

The visitors were then awarded a penalty after a quarter-of-an-hour following a challenge by Rye goalkeeper Josh Willis on Ollie Hagger in the corner of the box, but after some delay and eventually consulting his linesman, the referee changed his mind and gave a goal kick to Rye.

Rye equalised in the 37th minute. Andy Atkin latched onto a good little ball over the top, rounded the goalkeeper and saw his shot blocked by a defender on the line, but Liam Upton was on hand to slide home the rebound.

Selsey, hammered 8-1 in the corresponding fixture last season, went back in front in the 45th minute. A free kick went into the defensive wall and a couple of ricochets later fell nicely for Dan Martin to hook into the net.

The West Sussex outfit went 3-1 up 20 minutes into the second half. Rye joint manager Anthony Storey had a shot saved at one end and Selsey broke straight down the other where Calum Britton took advantage of some defensive hesitation.

Rye pulled one back in the 75th minute when Jack Franklin beat two players in midfield before playing in Olly Lockyer, who produced a delightful finish over the goalkeeper for his second goal in successive games.

Matt Maclean glanced a header just wide of the far post from Lockyer’s cross, but Rye levelled as the clock ticked into added time. A free kick was delivered into the Selsey box and nodded down for Sean Kelly to hook into the net.

Rye weren’t content with a point, though, and pushed on in search of a winner. They went mightily close to getting one in the fourth minute of added time as substitute Dominic Clarke fired Maclean’s cross goalwards only to be denied by a fine save from the goalkeeper diving to his right.

The matches involving Hastings United, Sidley United, Bexhill United, Little Common and Westfield were all postponed, although Sidley’s reserves picked up a 2-0 win over Seaford Town in a ‘home’ game switched to the opposition’s ground.

Sussex Division One top seven (played-points): 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 28-62, 2 Redhill 30-62, 3 Ringmer 34-61, 4 Pagham 29-59, 5 East Preston 26-58, 6 Hassocks 34-57, 7 RYE UNITED 27-54.