Bexhill United Football Club’s improved form was halted by a disappointing home defeat on Saturday.
The Pirates lost 4-2 against Selsey in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One, ending a run of seven points from a possible nine.
Bexhill gave themselves a big uphill task by falling 2-0 behind inside seven minutes and although they threatened to salvage something from the game, ultimately the bad start proved their undoing.
On a glorious autumn afternoon at The Polegrove, Selsey drew first blood in the fourth minute. A long throw from the left was glanced into the far corner by Toby Lempriere.
One became two just three minutes later. Howard Low’s hooked clearance from the touchline sailed over the Bexhill defence and Jake Jackson took a touch to control before unleashing an excellent volley over goalkeeper Mateusz Szafranski.
Bexhill had the bulk of the play during the remainder of the first half. Andy Atkin fired over with his left-foot from Nathan Tudor’s ball over the top and later blazed over after being teed up by Kevin Barden.
The home side pulled one back in the 34th minute. Allan McMinigal played a good ball through to Tudor and he squared for Jack Aston to score with a shot which deflected into the bottom corner.
Selsey goalkeeper Warren Boyt pulled off a good save low to his left from McMinigal’s angled drive and Jack Woodward missed the target with a free header from the resulting Tudor corner.
Josh Elliott-Noye headed over from another Tudor corner as Bexhill ended the first half firmly on the front foot and looking capable of turning the contest around.
Although Atkin brought a decent stop out of Boyd low to his right and headed wide from the resulting corner, play was far more even at the start of the second period.
Selsey restored their two-goal cushion in the 63rd minute. A low cross from the right by James Parsons was turned home by Lempriere for his second of the afternoon.
Bexhill hit back just a minute later. Barden got in down the home right and pulled the ball back for McMinigal, whose splendid first touch gave him the space to score with his second.
As Bexhill pushed for an equaliser, a goalmouth scramble ended with McMinigal’s shot being blocked on the line by Selsey defender Jake Lintott and Woodward’s instinctive effort being saved.
Bexhill did have the ball in the net in the 83rd minute when Atkin thought he’d scored with a terrific looping header from a corner, but the referee spotted an infringement.
Selsey sealed their victory with a fourth goal six minutes later. Szafranski made a good save to deny James Kilhams, but moments later Cameron Corell got away down the right and as the flag stayed down, delivered a low cross which was swept home by Lempriere for his hat-trick.
Bexhill: Szafranski, A. Cooper, N. Tudor, Elliott-Noye, Cruikshank, J. Aston, Garman (Munday 69), Woodward, Barden, McMinigal, Atkin. Subs not used: A. Tudor, Burgon.
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