Westfield boss at a loss to explain dip in form

Westfield Football Club joint manager Jack Stapley admitted '˜something isn't quite right at the moment' after suffering a second successive defeat.

Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 11:35 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:19 am
Jamie Gravett tussles for possession during Westfield's 3-1 defeat at Bosham on Saturday. Pictures by Kate Shemilt

The Westies, who won five games in a row between the start of December and mid-January, lost 3-1 away to Bosham in Macron Store Southern Combination League Division Two on Saturday.

Stapley said: “Something’s not quite right at the moment and I can’t put my finger on it. We were winning, but not playing well against poor sides and we always seem to struggle against the so-called top six in this league.

“On paper we really shouldn’t. We’ve got some decent players and some players that have played at a higher level.

Westfield scorer Scott Ramsay keeps a close eye on a Bosham opponent.

“There was just a little bit of a feeling like we had in November on Saturday. The pitch was a bog and people were having poor touches and getting their excuses in. There’s some decent players playing at this level and if you give them an excuse to get on top, they will get on top.

“When you’re on a bad run, I think people do get frustrated. It didn’t help we had a few dropouts on Friday night and Saturday morning, but we still had enough to go there and get a result. We just didn’t do our jobs right and got what we deserved.”

The first 20 minutes were very even, but the match began to open up and Bosham broke the deadlock. Jake Lafferty went down in the box and Graeme Dowden slotted home from the spot, although Westfield joint manager Jack Stapley described the penalty as ‘as soft as they come’.

Westfield goalkeeper Gavin Bourne made a couple of fairly routine saves, but Stapley felt Bosham didn’t really cause Westfield many problems during the rest of the first half.

Westfield full-back Dom McGurk goes in for a tackle.

Westfield didn’t offer a great deal going forward themselves, although new boy Kevaughn Ward made a bit of a difference on the right and delivered one nice ball which Josh Carey couldn’t quite get on the end of.

Westfield grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half time. Ramsay unleashed a free kick from around 30 yards over the wall and into the bottom corner.

It seemed the perfect time to score and Westfield went in at the break with a bit of confidence that they could kick on, but Bosham restored their lead before the hour mark with a free kick as good as Westfield’s. Dowden whipped in a superb 25-yard shot from the right into the top corner.

Bosham added a third goal when Louis Bell found the top corner from 25 yards, although Stapley felt the shot was completely mishit.

Westfield: Bourne; McGurk, Stapley, Ramsay, Gravett; J. Ward, McMinigal, Adams; K. Ward (Barrett), Carey, Grindle (Hollingworth).

Westfield are fourth in a very closely-bunched table, with only three points separating third-placed Sidlesham and ninth-placed Montpelier Villa.

“There’s still a chance to be as high up the table as we can,” continued Stapley. “I think we can probably say goodbye to winning the league or maybe finishing second, but I still want to be in amongst it.

“Realistically we’re still looking at third position, but if we can get on a little run now, you never know where you can end up.

“We’re just not clicking like we did in December. The goals aren’t flowing as much, we’re not creating as many chances. I still think we’re defending alright, but going forward we’re lacking a bit of cutting edge.”

The likes of Terry Payne, Aaron Cochrane and Ashley O’Prey should return for the visit of Montpelier Villa this coming Saturday. Kick-off at The Parish Field is 2pm.

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