Alfold FC 1 – 1 STCFC
Steyning Town earned a solid point on the road against Alfold FC on Saturday despite being a bit below par performance-wise.
We set up in our now normal 3-5-2, just one change from Tuesday with cup-tied Sabino coming back in for Bull. Clark recovering from an injury to be able to start on the right.
Alfold started on the front foot and really should’ve scored after four minutes when Smith fired over from close range. Cousins, the ‘Folds new signing from Broadbridge Heath, started off very lively and was causing lots of problems earlier on.
On 12 minutes Steynings first chance came as Romain broke the offside trap and played in Radmore who stumbled over the ball just as he was about to shoot.
Steyning’s next chance fell to Maher who escaped down the right but shot wildly over.
At the other end, Lucas had a half-chance for Alfold but shot tamely at JJ and the end to end nature of the game continued when Romain turned and floated a shot wide of the far post.
On 27 minutes Romain came off injured replaced by Jamie Weston. A floated free-kick by Sabino fell at the far post to Radmore whose hard low shot was well saved. Seconds later the Alfold keeper Correria made a stunning save from a shot from just outside the box from Andrade who had worked the opportunity well himself.
On 34 minutes JJ made a terrific low save when ‘Fold broke down the middle, however, his joy was short-lived when on 43 minutes it was JJ who unusually spilled a deep cross and the ball was prodded home from close range by Cousins.
On the stroke of half-time, Sabino had a great chance, controlling well at the far post and Correia produced another cracking save.
Half time Alfold 1 Steyning Town 0
The hosts also started the second half brighter and Cousins stabbed a shot wide of JJs near post following a good run and low cross by Lemon.
50 minutes saw our first substitution when Clark came off and 16-year-old Bloomfield came on. Steyning ditched the 3-5-2 and went to a flat back four.
On 52 minutes Alfold skipper Stafford was lucky to get away with a possible handball in the box but Steynings vociferous appeals were waved away.
Bloomfield made a good early impact making a couple of good runs down the right on one cross with him fell to Andrade who headed it straight to the keeper from 10 yards.
The heavy pitch was starting to take its toll and the game started to get stretched, huge gaps appearing in midfield.
On 68 minutes a well-worked moved on the right by the hosts finished with Cousins flashing a shot wide of the far post.
On 78 minutes Steyning equalised. Weston was brought down on the edge of the box and Andrade stepped up and curled a delicious freekick into the top left-hand corner from 22 yards.
Steyning’s celebrations were almost short-lived as the host’s skipper Stafford, impressive all afternoon, stepped forward from the middle of the defence a struck 35 yard shot that cleared JJ, struck the underside of the bar, and Cousins racing in on the rebound overstretched and nodded the ball over the bar from close range.
The closing stages lacked a bit quality from both teams that’ll but Steyning nearly threw it away in the last minute when Maher slashed wildly at a cross with his right foot, nearly missing it altogether, but JJ was on hand spare his blushes to make another good save at the feet of Cousins. Shortly after the full-time whistle was blown.
There was a bit of time for some handbags after the final whistle when one of the Alford managers clashed with Steyning the bench, but that did not reflect the overall attitude on the pitch from both teams; hard-fought but played in a decent spirit.
Final score 1-1 and a good point on the road.
Team : JJ, Clark, Maher, Gathern, Levoi, Parazo, Romain, Faber, Sabino, Radmore, Andrade
Subs : Weston, Bull, Bloomfield
Not Used : Hards