Bexhill United boss: As well as we’ve played at home all season

Liam Foster on the ball during Bexhill United's 5-1 win at home to Hailsham Town. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Liam Foster on the ball during Bexhill United's 5-1 win at home to Hailsham Town. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Bexhill United Football Club performed as well as it has at home all season in its Boxing Day victory, according to manager Ryan Light.

The Pirates recorded a convincing 5-1 win against Hailsham Town in Southern Combination League Division One at The Polegrove with five different players on the scoresheet.

Light said: “The first half especially was as well as we’ve played at home all year. It was the first time we’ve really put a team to bed by half time at home and it was by far the most expansive we’ve been at home.

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“I asked them (the players) to win the physical battle in the first 20 minutes and then assert our quality going on really. We started really brightly, got the ball down and showed good quality. The goals we scored in the first half were really pleasing, especially the third.”

The pick of the bunch was Liam Foster’s spectacular 20-yard drive into the top corner to put Bexhill four-up early in the second half.

“It’s up there with the goal of the season, it’s definitely a contender,” continued Light. “Once you’re 3-0 up, it’s difficult to keep yourselves on a good level. But that was just what we needed to spark us into the second half.

Drew Greenall on the ball at The Polegrove on Boxing Day

Drew Greenall on the ball at The Polegrove on Boxing Day

“They seemed to have a little bit of energy at 4-0 and we took our foot off the gas. I’m disappointed a bit with their goal and Dan (Rose, Bexhill’s goalkeeper) is disappointed with himself, but he had a good game until then.

“Then Jack Shonk and Jamie Bunn did well for the fifth goal, and all in all it was a really pleasing performance.”

It was only Bexhill’s second game since November 24 following a couple of postponements, but they showed no signs of rustiness as they made it 13 wins in 17 league games this term.

“We’ve trained really hard, the hardest in terms of physical fitness that we’ve done in the three years I’ve been at the club,” Light went on. “The lads have really pushed themselves through a fitness regime so it doesn’t look like we haven’t played.”

Chris Rea gets to the ball before a Hailsham Town opponent

Chris Rea gets to the ball before a Hailsham Town opponent

Bexhill sit in third place at the midway stage of their league programme with the division’s best goal difference (+42) and most prolific attack (57 goals in 17 league matches).

They trail leaders Steyning Town by six points having played a game less and their next four scheduled league fixtures are all at home.

“We’ve reached the halfway point - we would’ve definitely accepted that at the start of the season,” Light added.

“We’ve got to keep it going. We’ve got lots of home games now, and we’ve got to get used to the surroundings and turn each week into three points - and who knows?”

Bexhill will sign off for 2018 at home to Mile Oak today (Saturday), with Sammy Bunn, Kyle Holden and Connor Robertson all set to return. Kick-off at The Polegrove is 3pm.

Light said: “If we can win Saturday, that sets up a big January for us. January looks like being a really pivotal month with the fixtures we’ve got.”

Bexhill’s match away to Southwick, which was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch less than an hour before kick-off on Saturday December 15, has been rearranged for Saturday January 19.

The Division One Challenge Cup quarter-final away to fellow high-flyers Alfold has been pencilled in for Tuesday January 29.