At the end of a week dominated by the ‘beast from the east’ our ‘3G’ pitch enabled us to host our match v Midhurst & Easebourne with most of Saturday’s SCFL programme decimated by the effects of the ‘big freeze’.
And bo were we glad to get the game on as it was to be a much better afternoon for the Barrowmen, ending their nine game win less run with a deserved 5-4 victory in a game in which they were always ahead, but never looked totally in control .
In a balmy 7 centigrade Ben Rose returned from injury ‘between the sticks’ and new signing from Peacehaven Zac Haulkham joined the side in central midfield. Lewis Levoi and Dan Gainsford notable absentees.
Three superb first half strikes from Dom Ozga, Rob Clark and Mo Al-Samarie put Town in control. Clark and Al-Samairie both scoring with fine efforts from outside the box. This was followed by two more goals after the break – another for Ozga, a blistering half volley, and a diving headed goal from Alex Townley from an excellent cross from the lively Knowles, gave the home crowd more to cheer about than they’ve had in a long while as we attacked with gusto and panache.
However, down the other end some rather loose team defending by us allowed Midhurst to remain in contention during the first half from a penalty and a soft goal from a nond down from a corner.
In the second half, and with the rain now falling, despite achieving a three goal lead at 5-2 around the hour mark some nervous defending on our part resulted in our persistent visitors scoring two more goals to set up a rather tense finale as they continued to press. Their third goal was a particularly fine strike, challenging Ozga, Clark and Al-Samairie for the ‘goal of the day’ crown!
In fact right at the death they came within an ace of snatching a point when a good attempt from Stags veteran front man Gary Norgate cannoned back off the inside of Ben Rose’s left upright. Phew! That little bit of luck that we all need at times.
Yes, great to get back to winning ways and halting that slump. Hopefully, despite those jitters, this win will restore the lads confidence as they approach their seven remaining games of the season. The lads played well. Some of the attacking play in the first half was a joy to watch. Just need to shore up at the other end.
New signing Zac Haulkham looks like a quality addition as he slotted in seamlessly as a holding midfielder, added some real physical strength to the midfield and some real quality touches. The wide man Taylor and Al-Samairie were full of direct running, as was Townley back leading the line well and caused the Midhurst rearguard alot of issues.
Next Saturday there is no first team fixture. The Reserves our at home to Horsham YMCA Res (KO @ Shooting Field – 3pm).
The next first team fixture is on Saturday 17 March when we head over to Brighton to face AFC Varndeaneans (KO @ Withdean Stadium – 3pm)
Final score – Steyning Town 5 Midhurst & Easebourne 4
Pictures from the game can be viewed here http://www.pitchsidephoto.co.uk/Latest-Images/Steyning-Town-v-Midhurst–Easebourne/
Town line up – Rose, Clark, Cockerton, Haulkham, Spence, Butler, Al-Samarie (McGarth), Knowles (Scott), Ozga (c), Townley (Brooks), Dom Taylor Unused subs – Towse, Fitzpatrick