STCFC 3 – 1 Broadbridge Heath
Town named an unchanged starting 11 for this local derby with Broadbridge Heath. Hands and Parazo returning to the squad starting on the bench alongside Spano, Romain and Bull.
It was a fast start from the Barrowmen at the Shooting Field which saw them go close early on before. In the third minute, Andrade thumped home a header from a terrific cross from Billy White. Despite protests from the visitors, the referee judged the ball had crossed the line after bouncing down off the bar.
Minutes later things got worse for the visitors as Andrade was played through the middle, keeper Hadfield came rushing out and in the confusion with his own defender Andrade was cleaned out. Straight red for the keeper and Tiago off with a suspected broken nose to be replaced by Romain.
Town continued their early ascendancy and was unlucky not to double their lead when Sabino thumped a low shot against the post. At the other end, Broadbridge Heath could’ve done better when a terrific cross was narrowly missed by the onrushing forward. There was a similar incident at the other end when Radmore failed to get on the end of the cross from Clark.
Weston failed to get on the end of another cross from Clark and at the other end, the lively Cousins tested Rose with a stinging shot that was well parried over the bar.
On 40 minutes Town added a second goal when a corner in from Sabino was well won in the air by Levoi and Radmore was there to sweep home.
On 42 minutes Magic Mike Sabino scored a fine third after being played through the middle and finished with style high into the net despite the offside appeals.
Half-time Steyning Town 3 Broadbridge Heath 0.
Town was caught napping early in the second half and conceded a soft goal almost straight from the kick-off to make it 3-1. Game on.
It certainly put a bit of wind in the sails of the visitors that lasted most of the half. Up until the hour, we really start to lose our composure. The game started to become much more of a contest as Heath started to believe they may get something from the game. However, we managed to weather the storm and started to get our foot back on the ball.
With 20 minutes to go, Rose made an excellent and vital stop from a Cousins one-on-one to keep a bit of space between the two sides. A big moment. Shortly afterward Cousins made another great run took the ball down beautifully and fired his shot past Rose’s far post. The warning signs were there.
With 15 minutes to go Rodmore was denied a one on one chance when possibly he should’ve squared the ball to Sabino and from the resulting corner, Faber glanced a header wide.
As Heath continued to press we started to play more on the break. Bull had a good opportunity but his dinked finish turned into neither a cross nor a shot and evaded Romain at the far post with the keeper stranded.
Substitute Spano tested the keeper’s fingertips from full-on 30 yards as yet again the 16 year old impressed coming off the bench.
However, Heath were not laying down and the way their 10 men played and committed themselves during the second half was impressive.
With minutes to go Clark was still, as always, full of running and a half-chance came to nothing when he escaped down the right.
The final whistle went and it finished 3-1. That makes it seven wins on the bounce for the guys which is a fantastic effort. Not at our best today and the decisions probably went our way.
It was a full-blooded second half and we did enough to deserve the three points on the day but a bit more composure needed in the last third of the pitch. The visitors will probably look back to the first 10 minutes when all the significant action happened and paved the way for the afternoon’s events to unfold. They are a good side and it’s a good 3 points for us.
Wishing Tiago a speedy recovery from a nasty facial injury.
Up the Barrowmen.
Team | Rose Clark Maher Gathern Levoi White Faber Weston Sabino Radmore Andrade
Subs | Romain Spano Bull
Unused | Hands Parazo
Attendance : 87