Bexhill United Football Club manager Ryan Light felt that Saturday’s 3-1 win away to Langney Wanderers was even better than the 5-1 victory at Wick five weeks previously.
The Pirates overturned a half time deficit to defeat second-placed opposition in Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One thanks to a Jack McLean hat-trick.
Light said: “I would say this pips the Wick performance as the best second half performance and best win of the season. Wick was knee-deep in mud and was just fun, but we had a lot more to contend with today.
“They (Langney) are a top drawer side in our division, they won their last game 11-2 and they’ve not lost at home all season, but we’ve sent them packing. I’m so proud, as a manager, of that performance. Second half we were fantastic.”
In front of a large crowd on a day when only two matches went ahead in the east of the county, the skilful McLean showed why he was a regular in Hastings United’s starting line-up two years ago before suffering a serious knee injury.
“Jack McLean shouldn’t be playing at this level, he’s a top drawer player,” Light continued. “At times he’s near to being unplayable and he showed great technique for all three of his goals - and he could’ve had a fourth with the shot that hit the crossbar.
“He’s been talking about playing here for a little while; he enjoys the 3G. But everyone put a shift in. Kyle (Holden) was good in there, Liam Foster as always was a class above, Dan Rose was good today, the back line was good and Connor Robertson was excellent.”
Bexhill’s 15th league win of the season (from 28 matches) took them up to fourth in the table and left them one away from reaching the 50-point mark.
“I thought first half we started really well, popping the ball around, looking really sharp,” Light went on. “Then I thought it was quite an even first half.
“I’m usually quite critical of us when we concede from corners, but I can’t really criticise - Jamie Bunn’s header went in a part of the goal where we couldn’t really get to it.
“We looked quite organised from open play, they weren’t really getting in behind us. My only disappointment with the first half - with the wind at our backs, which I thought was a hindrance - was we didn’t get our shots off.
“I think our chances in the first half were limited, but I thought we passed the ball better than they did. It was a really positive half time and we felt we could get something out of it.
“I asked us to shorten up our game and just raise our tempo a bit. I think we were the fitter of the two sides and from the first whistle we just carried out the gameplan to an absolute tee.
“We passed the ball well, Otters (Craig Ottley) put a couple of really good balls in and great technique from Jack McLean for all three of his goals, which was the difference in the end.
“The third goal was an error you’re going to get when the conditions are like that. I thought our game management was really good for the last 12 minutes; we kept the ball when we needed to.”
Bexhill are away to second-bottom Billingshurst this coming Saturday. Lewis McGuigan is likely to return after pulling out of the squad for the Langney game at the last minute due to a family emergency.
Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 27-70 (+65 goal difference), 2 Langney Wanderers 27-63 (+54), 3 Lingfield 26-58 (+46), 4 BEXHILL UNITED 28-49 (+25), 5 Ringmer 27-48 (+18), 6 Wick 25-47 (+30), 7 Mile Oak 27-44 (+7), 8 Selsey 25-40 (+9), 9 Hailsham Town 25-38 (+1).
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