STCFC 2 – 1 Loxwood FC
Weston brace sinks the Magpies!
On what may well be the last day of our British summer, Town entertained a Loxwood side looking for there first win of the season in the glorious Sussex sunshine yesterday at the Birchwood stadium. Town was without Romain and Hands but continued their policy of promoting youth by bringing Spano (17) and Kent (18) into the squad.
The game started at a blistering pace (considering the heat) and Loxwood looked like they meant business with great energy but just lacked the killer edge up top to make their hard work pay off even though they had Towns last season’s top goalscorer Alfie Gritt as their number 9.
Town started to get into the game more with some good link-up play with Andrade and Radmore, and it was the latter on 19 minutes who went on a mazy run from left to right only then to pick out Weston who smashed home from fully 35 yards and gave the visitors keeper no chance.
Loxwood didn’t let that get to them and continued to cause the Town backline problems with great movement from their front 3 and it was from a deflected Gritt shot that Loxwood were back in the game. A long ball up to the visitors’ frontman and a quick turn and shot was blocked by Levoi but resulted in two corners and the latter bringing Loxwood level when the lively no.2 was allowed to freely head home at the back post.
A few chances for both teams came and went before half time but the scoreline stayed the same going into the break.
Town came out the quicker team after the break and after great work by Andrade who managed to bamboozle the Loxwood left-back then pick out an unmarked Weston on the penalty spot who had time to adjust his feet to slot home his second of the afternoon and restore Towns lead, all within 2 minutes of the restart.
10 minutes later Radmore had a great chance to extend Towns lead but only to be denied by a great point-blank save from the Magpies keeper and that seemed to spark the visitors into life, who then made a couple of changes and switched to a 3-5-2 system and really started to put Town under pressure. JJ was called into action on 65 minutes when the Loxwood no.11 created his own chance down the left but in all honesty, the big stopper wasn’t really troubled for the rest of the afternoon.
Town made a couple of changes to sure things up with the match-winner Weston being replaced by the departing Haulkham on 68 minutes then Radmore took a nasty knock to the head on 75 minutes and was replaced by Spano for the youngster’s first senior league appearance who looked very comfortable for the remainder of the game.
Overall a hard-fought 3 points for Town which now sees them only 3 points off of 3rd place in the league, it was also good to see the best youth talent given a chance and despite not the prettiest game of football, “a win is a win”.
Credit to Loxwood as there effort probably deserved a point but I’m sure they will get that first win soon.
Town entertain Crowborough in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday at the Birchwood stadium ko 19.30.
Team : Banasco-Zaragoza, Clark, Maher, White, Gathern, Levoi, Faber, Bull, Weston, Andrade, Radmore
Subs : Spano, Haulkham
Not Used : Kent