Bexhill gear up for ‘biggest game of season so far’

Bexhill United forward Zack McEniry in the thick of the action during last weekend's win over AFC Varndeanians. Picture courtesy Mark Killy
Bexhill United forward Zack McEniry in the thick of the action during last weekend's win over AFC Varndeanians. Picture courtesy Mark Killy

Bexhill United Football Club is gearing up for what manager Ryan Light has described as its biggest game of the season so far.

The Pirates will travel to Mile Oak in one of only two Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One games scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday).

The Varndeanians goalkeeper gathers the ball with Bexhill United's Gordon Cuddington in close attendance. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon

The Varndeanians goalkeeper gathers the ball with Bexhill United's Gordon Cuddington in close attendance. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon

A win against seventh-placed Mile Oak would lift fifth-placed Bexhill within three points of the top four, none of whom are in action this weekend.

Light said: “Mile Oak is our biggest game of the season to date. A win would take us four points off second place. I know there’s a couple of games in hand here and there, but I would rather have the points on the board.”

Bexhill have won six and drawn two of their last nine league games to move within sight of the division’s leading quartet.

“We’ve clawed ourselves up into a fantastic position if we can win on Saturday,” continued Light. “If we can get a result, we can enjoy our Christmas and let everyone battle it out on the 23rd (Bexhill are without a fixture next weekend) with all to play for in the new year.

Bexhill United full-back Ben Cornelius gets his head to the ball against Varndeanians. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon

Bexhill United full-back Ben Cornelius gets his head to the ball against Varndeanians. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon

“(Leaders) Little Common have shown amazing consistency, but everybody else there’s no dead cert in this league. Everyone can beat everyone and anyone can drop points. You’ve got to be consistent and keep getting the points on the board.”

Bexhill were beaten 1-0 by Mile Oak in their opening home league fixture of the campaign, exactly three months before tomorrow’s match, but their away record is excellent.

Bexhill have won six and drawn two of their nine league outings on their travels so far, with their only defeat coming in a game where they at one stage led 2-0 at Steyning Town. They’ve also won three cup matches away to Division One opposition.

“We go to places like Mile Oak with a real confidence, and as a side I think we quite like getting out there and getting on with the job (in the away matches),” said Light.

“We will go there full of confidence. They’re an up and down side, they’ve had some good results and had some poor results. I thought we were the better side in the home game against them.

“We’ve got to start to remember we’re above these sides in the table. We’re in the top five now and chasing down on that top three. If we get a result on Saturday, it will set Boxing Day (when Bexhill are away to Little Common) up nicely as well.”

Bexhill will make the trip to the far side of Brighton tomorrow without unavailable pair Georges Gouet and Nathan Lopez, but they hope to welcome back Liam Foster, Chris Rea, Jack McLean and Connor Robertson.

Light admitted to a feeling of ‘sheer relief’ after an 88th minute goal from Kevin Barden earned his team a 2-1 win at home to eight-man Old Varndeanians last weekend.

“It was as good a goal as the (added time) equaliser against Wick (on November 4),” he added. “It would’ve felt like a defeat (had Bexhill not won the game), but we managed to get it over the line and we were delighted to pick up another three points.”

Bexhill, incidentally, are already just 10 points shy of their points total when finishing 10th last season.