Bexhill United’s footballers returned to winning ways with a much-needed 2-0 victory at home to Rustington on Saturday.
A goal in either half from Andy Garman and Andy Atkin ended Bexhill’s run of three points from their previous five Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two games.
There was controversy in the opening minute. Scott McDonald thought he had given Bexhill the lead with a brilliant lob from at least 25 yards which struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down, although the linesman ruled it hadn’t crossed the line.
Bexhill didn’t have to wait long to go in front, however, as Garman opened the scoring in the sixth minute. What must have been a cross from wide on the right flashed straight into the far corner of the net.
The rest of the first half on an ideal afternoon for football was pretty even with relatively little goalmouth incident. Bexhill had the ball in Rustington’s net for a second time in the 28th minute only for Chris Cumming-Bart’s header from a McDonald cross to be disallowed for offside.
Jamie Morgan shot straight at Rustington goalkeeper Carl Bennett, while at the other end, Bexhill goalkeeper stopper Yankuba Camara saved Tom Baker’s low shot, and Gavin Heater and Simon Clarke blazed well over.
Ross Frazer fired just over from the edge of the box as Rustington got on top for a while early in the second period before Morgan was denied by a fingertip save from the outrushing Bennett having latched on to a good ball from Cumming-Bart.
Bexhill doubled their advantage from the resulting corner in the 58th minute. Toby Clifford’s deep delivery from the left was headed back across goal by Josh Elliott-Noye and Atkin nodded in from close range.
The hosts were pretty comfortable thereafter, although Camara pulled off a splendid save diving to his right to keep out a Steve Wetting free kick which was heading towards the top corner and moments later repelled Heater’s well-struck shot from similar range.
With the sun now out, Bexhill might well have added to their tally in the final 15 minutes. Bexhill substitute Kevin Barden shot just over from a good ball by Craig Ottley and Elliott-Noye was close to getting on the end of another Clifford corner.
McDonald shot just wide with only Bennett to beat following a lovely ball by Cumming-Bart, who then produced a great run and cutback from which Barden shot narrowly off target. Clifford’s long range effort in added time brought an awkward save out of Bennett.
It all means that Bexhill have completed the double over Rustington following their 3-2 victory in the reverse fixture and the clean sheet was their first in nine matches.
Bexhill: Camara, Atkin, Ottley, Elliott-Noye, Clifford, J. Aston, Garman, Cumming-Bart, McDonald, G. Aston, Morgan (Barden 59). Subs not used: Cruikshank, White.
Standings (played-points): 1 Worthing United 10-27, 2 Wick & Barnham United 9-22, 3 Oakwood 10-22, 4 AFC Uckfield Town 12-19, 5 BEXHILL UNITED 11-19, 6 Mile Oak 11-18, 7 Steyning Town 10-18, 8 LITTLE COMMON 11-16, 9 Haywards Heath Town 10-15, 10 Rustington 11-13, 11 WESTFIELD 10-10, 12 Storrington 11-10, 13 Midhurst & Easebourne 9-7, 14 Saltdean United 10-7, 15 Seaford Town 11-0.