Bexhill up to third after home victory

Jack Shonk struck twice for Bexhill United in their 3-1 win at home to Sidlesham, taking his tally for the season to 16.
Jack Shonk struck twice for Bexhill United in their 3-1 win at home to Sidlesham, taking his tally for the season to 16.

Bexhill United manager Ryan Light praised ‘a really good performance’ after the football club went third in the league table.

Two more Jack Shonk goals and one from Sammy Bunn gave the Pirates a well-deserved 3-1 victory at home to Sidlesham in Southern Combination League Division One on Saturday.

Light said: “It was a lot more what you expect from a home performance. It was a really good performance, we were always in control, and even when they equalised there was no panic - we just stayed calm.”

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With the pitch in much better condition than it was the previous weekend, Bexhill started very brightly and zipped the ball around nicely. Jack McLean was in fine form and Sidlesham were struggling to contain him.

Bexhill opened the scoring through a fantastic goal by Shonk after 15 minutes. Having spotted the goalkeeper slightly off his line, Shonk beat him with a superb, slightly wind-assisted chip from 30 yards.

The home side looked comfortable for the remainder of the first half and was pushing for a second goal. McLean came close when he cut in and beat a couple of opponents before flashing a shot whiskers wide of the far post.

Sidlesham began the second period fairly well and fashioned a couple of half-chances of their own before pulling one back slightly fortunately.

Bexhill goalkeeper Dan Rose got a hand to a fairly close range shot following a corner, but the ball struck the crossbar and rebounded against the back of his head before ending up in the net.

Bexhill responded superbly and continued to pass the ball well. They retook the lead around the 70-minute mark when Drew Greenall chested the ball down into the path of Shonk, who looped an angled finish over the goalkeeper from around eight yards.

It was one-way traffic thereafter with Bexhill firing off shot after shot and the away goalkeeper producing a few good saves.

After a number of opportunities to kill the game off, Bexhill finally did with a very well taken goal by Bunn. Greenall won a knockdown and Bunn turned before unleashing a half-volley from 12 yards which the goalkeeper got a hand to but couldn’t prevent from ending up in the top corner.

Other chances followed after that, including one right at the end when Nathan Lopez cut in along the byeline and saw his shot from a very tight angle palmed out by the goalkeeper.

“The margin of the win could’ve been greater, but the way we stayed composed after they got their equaliser was the real positive,” added Light.

Bexhill: Rose; Robertson, McGuigan, McFarlane, Lopez; Holden, S. Bunn, J. Bunn; Shonk, Giles (Greenall), McLean (Gouet).

Southern Combination League Division One top half standings (all played 9 matches): 1 AFC Varndeanians 25pts (+20 goal difference), 2 Steyning Town 21 (+13), 3 BEXHILL UNITED 19 (+23), 4 Alfold 19 (+13), 5 Hailsham Town 18 (+15), 6 Wick 18 (+2), 7 Seaford Town 17 (+1), 8 Storrington 13 (-6), 9 Selsey 12 (-2).