Steyning Town spread some festive cheer down at the Birchwood Ground on Saturday with an excellent 1-0 win over high flying Uckfield Town FC. The single goal that made the difference was a thumping strike from George Cousins early in the second half of this enthralling contest. It was a timely win for Town who had been very sluggish since the return after lockdown, and it was 3 points well deserved on the overall balance of play.
Making their home debuts for Town were Bobby Bennett, a recent signing from Epsom and Ewell, and Jordan Hawkins in goal. It was also great to see former crowd favourite and local youngster Alex Townley returning from college in America to resume a place in the starting line up for Town and he did not disappoint with an excellent performance, especially in the second 45 minutes.
From the off Town seem to had a spring in their stride and had the better of the opening exchanges, and Cousins struck the base of the post on 5 minutes after being sent clear. The game them was delayed for 25 minutes after AFC Uckfield Jack Samways had an unfortunate collision with the barrier after chasing down a long ball. A nasty looking injury finished his afternoon and he was taken to hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery and well done everyone from both camps who looked after him well and dealt with the situation sensibly.
When the game resumed Uckfield enjoyed their best spell of the game and their lively forward players were asking plenty of questions of the Town defence and the woodwork rescued Town on one occasion, Gathern and Boiling did well to thwart numerous dangerous situations. Half time 0-0 and all to play for.
In the second half Steyning came out much the better side. Bold and Murphy started to get a real grip of the game in the engine room, and Townley, Bennett & Cousins were starting to cause real problems for AFC with their direct running, excellent movement and neat passing interchanges. Town were starting to get in behind the Uckfield defence on a regular basis and were really knocking hard on the door when the goal finally came. The breakthrough came in some style as Townley, at the end of neat passing move, played a delightful through ball to Cousins down the inside right channel. Cousins took a great first touch taking it away from the defenders and finished with a thumping, rising strike in to the far corner much to the delighted of the sizeable crowd in The Shooting Field
This really put further wind in the sails of Steyning and they were now well in control and piling mend forward and Tibble had to make a number of excellent saves throughout the half to keep the score at just one. At the other end there was a scare as Uckfield had a goal disallowed for a narrow offside, however this was really their only chance of note in the second period as Steyning controlled the closing stages really well to see out an excellent and professional victory. Big smiles all round off the pitch and Town climbed to 11th in the table as they go in to the Christmas break. We can now look forward with relish to a juicy looking Boxing Day derby clash with Lancing FC on the 3g at Culver Road.
A big thanks to the off field team once again which coped brilliantly in challenging circumstances once again keeping all the punters well fed and happy. Terrific too to be raising money once again for Shoreham foodbank and we thank everyone who donated.
Full time: Steyning Town 1 AFC Uckfield Town 0 Att: 164
Town: Hawkins, Wadhams (Clark), Gathern , Boiling, Faber, Bold, Murphy, Howell, Townley, Cousins, Bennett Subs not used: Tuck, Heath, McGrath, Tilley. C