Bexhill United Football Club made the long trip to Selsey well worthwhile with a 3-1 win on Saturday.
Goals from Lewis McGuigan, Zack McEniry and Liam Foster gave Bexhill all three points in a Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One game which ended 10-a-side.
Bexhill manager Ryan Light said: “It was a good, solid all-round performance and a great three points at a place which is logistically hard to get a team down to.”
On a decent playing surface, Bexhill didn’t start very well. Selsey seemed a bit sharper and quicker than Bexhill, and for the first 10 minutes Bexhill struggled to get out of their own half or retain possession.
Bexhill gradually started to claw their way into the game and after the 20-minute mark things were far more even. The visitors struck in the 29th minute when Foster delivered a fantastic corner and McGuigan rose highest at the far post to power a header into the roof of the net.
Although Bexhill led at half time, Light wasn’t happy with his team’s performance and felt that if they didn’t improve after the turnaround, they wouldn’t win the game.
Bexhill switched from a 4-1-4-1 formation to 4-2-3-1 largely in an attempt to plug the gap in front of the back four and they were excellent during the second period. They passed the ball superbly, defended well and the pace of their transition up the pitch caused Selsey problems.
Bexhill doubled their advantage with a very similar goal to their first. Foster sent over another terrific corner and this time McEniry scored his second goal in successive matches with a left-foot volley.
Things were very comfortable for Bexhill thereafter, although the contest became a bit feisty with a few tackles going in from both sides.
Bexhill’s third goal was the pick of the bunch. A lovely flowing move ended with the ball being played into the path of Foster, who made a great run past Selsey’s back four and slotted past the goalkeeper for his first Bexhill goal.
Selsey were reduced to 10 men when Matthew Boulton was shown a second yellow card and the numbers were levelled up after Bexhill goalkeeper Seb Korinek was given a straight red.
The young Korinek, making only his second appearance for the club, tried to shield the ball out of play, but a Selsey player did well to keep it in and then went down as he sandwiched between Korinek and Craig McFarlane.
“From where I was stood, it was so harsh,” said Light. “It just didn’t seem right.”
McEniry took over the gloves for the final 10 minutes and pulled off a couple of dramatic saves before Selsey nabbed a rather soft consolation deep into added time. A free kick to the far post was knocked down and Joseph Clarke’s shot trickled over the line.
Bexhill: Korinek; Holden, McGuigan, McFarlane, Ottley; Beale; Gouet, Foster, Cuddington, Wheeler; McEniry. Subs used: Harffey, Lopez.
Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 16-40 (+39 goal difference), 2 Wick 16-38 (+33), 3 Langney Wanderers 15-37 (+33), 4 Lingfield 16-34 (+29), 5 BEXHILL UNITED 16-28 (+20), 6 Mile Oak 15-26 (+5), 7 Steyning Town 15-24 (+14), 8 Seaford Town 15-24 (0), 9 Selsey 14-22 (+8).