Another warm, mosquito-ridden Tuesday night descended on The Saffrons, giving Town the opportunity to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat to Steyning with AFC Varndeanians the visitors. Town welcomed back James Hull on dual registration from Lancing, who immediately made the starting eleven. Jude made the decision to rest in-form winger, Ollie Davies, so James Hull was slotted in. George Cook also returned from suspension, resulting in Anesu Sisimayi starting out on the right wing and Cook back in as one of the three in midfield.
The game started well for Town with them dominating the ball which has become a novelty in recent times. However, the joys of possession were to be short-lived. Town’s defence were caught napping and Varndenians scored with a slow shot from Jude Wallace which trundled past Winterton into the left hand corner. Varndeanians looked dangerous from then on and it was almost two in as many minutes, however, Winterton made sure with this one. Town did look to counter on multiple occasions but a lack of creativity in the final third was apparent and would remain the same for the rest of the first half. One nil Vardeanians at the break and a very flat atmosphere at The Saffrons.
The second half started how Town fans wanted and needed it to. More forward passing, more pressing, more runners off Evan Archibald, and the eventual introduction of Ollie Davies breathed life into Town. The half-time team talk seemed to do the trick along with well-timed substitutions. Then, in the 72nd minute and after much prodding, a driven cross from Leon Grieg would eventually ricochet off Jordan Hawkins and in for an own goal. Town were level and the crowd were right behind them!
The pressure from Town was relentless! Corners, crosses, everything but the Saffrons Bar’s kitchen sink was flying towards the Sid Myall and Taffy Jones stand. Finally, finally! The breakthrough. More great hold up play by Evan Archibald brings Anesu Sisimayi into play who then finds Jame Hull on the right. Hull drives a low-driven cross-shot towards goal, Goalkeeper parries and a scramble ensues. Frankie Chappell, out on his feet in the six-yard box and being pulled back manages to prod the ball to his centre-back partner, Nathan Hover, who crashes the ball into the net. Town lead with just seconds to go!
There was still time on the clock but Charlie Gibson and Jack Muphy decided to run the left flank and waste some valuable seconds in the corner. The Referee eventually blew for full-time and Town got that elusive first three points of the season after four games.
League action is put on the back burner for two weeks as Town have an opportunity to reset. The RUR cup is the next on the agenda, with Shoreham the visitors to The Saffrons on Tuesday the 22nd. Then a short hop to little common six days later for the return to league action with a bank holiday Monday fixture and early kick-off (11am).
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