Brilliant Bexhill surge into cup quarter-finals

Jack McLean struck twice in Bexhill United's 4-1 win away to Southwick last night. Picture by Simon Newstead
Jack McLean struck twice in Bexhill United's 4-1 win away to Southwick last night. Picture by Simon Newstead

Bexhill United manager Ryan Light praised an ‘almost complete performance’ after the football club surged into a cup quarter-final last night (Tuesday).

The Pirates scored three goals during the second half to win 4-1 away to Southwick in round two of the Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One Challenge Cup.

Bexhill manager Ryan Light said: “They’ve been on a bit of a good run and we were expecting a tough game, but we were just excellent.

“It was almost a complete team performance really. They (the players) delivered everything that was asked of them from start to finish. From the first whistle we were good in every department.”

Bexhill, who scored an added time winner to beat Southwick 2-1 in the league last month, ought to have been ahead before they were.

Ben Cornelius shot well off target when he seemed almost certain to score, Nathan Lopez shaved the top of the crossbar with a curler, Liam Foster headed wide from inside the six yard box while stretching and Jack McLean had a couple of sights of goal too.

Bexhill eventually did open the scoring thanks to the endeavour of Connor Robertson, who was excellent in midfield. After a neat interchange on the edge of the box, Robertson burst into the area and applied a fantastic finish in off the post.

The visitors went up to another level in the second period. McLean, who Light described as ‘unplayable’ in the last hour, danced his way into the box and beat several defenders before finishing neatly into the corner from around the penalty spot.

Southwick got one back through an unfortunate own goal. Craig McFarlane attempted to clear the danger after a long throw dropped in the Bexhill box, but only succeeded in hooking the ball over goalkeeper Dan Rose and into the far corner.

Bexhill swiftly restored their two-goal cushion. Rose’s long kick bounced high over the head of Southwick’s full-back, McLean picked up the pieces and cut in past the covering defender before firing a low drive into the far corner from the edge of the box.

That goal pretty much ended the game as a contest and Bexhill, with the classy Foster pulling the strings, became very comfortable in possession.

Nathan Lopez wrapped up the win with Bexhill’s fourth goal, arriving late in the box and finishing nicely into the corner.

Bexhill are the only team in the division’s top 11 still going in the bottom half of the draw.

They will be at home to AFC Varndeanians in the last eight, with a potential semi-final against St Francis Rangers or Oakwood further down the line.

Bexhill: Rose; Cornelius, McGuigan, McFarlane, Rea; Lopez (Beale), Holden, Robertson, McLean (Harffey); Foster; Cuddington (Giles).