Two late penalties sink Bexhill
Bexhill United’s footballers conceded two late penalties as a spirited comeback ultimately counted for nothing on Saturday.
The Pirates had fought back from 2-0 down to draw level at 2-2 only to undo their good work in the closing stages of a Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One game which ended in a 4-2 defeat.
Bexhill boss Marc Munday said: “It’s a bit of a hard one to swallow. I’m not saying we were fantastic, but we were the better side for 60 minutes and at 2-2 there was only one team that was going to win it. I thought we would’ve fully deserved three points if we had got that final goal.”
A depleted Bexhill side started poorly, but Munday still felt comfortable until shipping two goals in the space of five minutes midway through the first half.
From that point onwards Bexhill started putting the ball in the right areas and bossed the game. Sam Cooper hit the crossbar and at the other end Munday prevented a third Lingfield goal with a great header.
Bexhill got one back in the 43rd minute when Aaron Tudor scored following a knockdown at a set-piece. The visitors continued to press during the second half and after two Tudor headers were well saved, Bexhill finally levelled in the 73rd minute.
Munday nodded the ball through for Cooper, who was cleaned out by the home goalkeeper. Cooper picked up himself to score the resulting penalty, although Bexhill were miffed that the goalkeeper only received a yellow card rather than red.
With the momentum firmly in their favour, Bexhill weren’t about to settle for a point. Things started to get niggly and in the 90th minute Lingfield were awarded a penalty of their own after what Munday felt was a shoulder barge on the edge of the box.
That was scored, as was another spot-kick in added time, and both came completely against the run of play. Both penalties were also given a long way from the incidents.
In a match refereed by the same man who dismissed two Bexhill players in the opening day defeat at Oakwood, Bexhill ended up with seven bookings and assistant manager Marc Gall was shown a red card as the teams left the field.
Munday felt that Bexhill’s reaction to the referee’s decision not to send-off the Lingfield goalkeeper immediately prior to Cooper’s equaliser played a part in the outcome.
“How we’ve reacted has probably cost us,” he added. “Whether you agree with the decision or not, they (the officials) are in charge and you’ve got to abide by them. Sometimes if you get people’s backs up, it can work against you.”
On a positive note, Cameron Burgon played very well on his senior debut, while fellow youngsters Luke Dando and Kurt Burton also didn’t look out of place after coming on as substitutes.
Bexhill: Camara; Cooper, Munday, Cruikshank, Ottley; A. Tudor (Dando), J. Aston, N. Tudor, Burgon (Burton); Buay, Cooper.
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