STCFC 1 – 2 Langney FC
On Saturday Steyning Town FC produced one of their best displays of the season but still found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 home defeat to Langney Wanderers, and in the process brought their own 10 match unbeaten league run to an end. Despite banging the door down in the second half they only had a lone Radmore strike as a reward for their endeavors, and an excellent defensive rearguard by Langney saw them escape with all 3 points.
On a day where the weather was once again pretty horrific; lashing rain and strong winds, a hardy 80+ souls still braved the elements to take in a thoroughly entertaining game. Town handed a debut to the talented and experienced Jamie Brotherton, taking his place wide right of a 4-3-3 formation, with Levoi moving into midfield in the absence of the suspended Faber. Rose returned in goal after the midweek ‘retirement’ of keeper JJ.
The match had a very fast start and the early exchanges were end to end, with both teams used to a 3G surface, zipping the ball about well. It was the visitors however who struck first when Santana cut in from the right-hand touchline and from the corner of the box unleashed an unstoppable dipping drive that rifled into the far top hand corner. A stunning strike and probably the best we’ve seen this season from any side.
On 16 minutes it got worse for Town as a well-worked move from Langney saw Hollobone steal in amongst an understaffed defence and rifle home, again leaving Rose with no chance. At this point, Town was well and truly on the ropes and only a smart save from Rose from a clear cut opportunity prevented further damage.
This save by Rose seemed to spur on Steyning, who woke from their temporary slumber and went on to pretty much dominate the rest of the game, playing plenty of free-flowing and neat intricate football, really stretching the visitors who seemed more content to sit back on their 2 goal lead after their early gusto.
Brotherton was at the centre of most of Town’s best moves. He dinked a shot narrowly over the bar, and shortly after a low drive by the industrious Hards was cleared off the line. Town then missed a glorious chance, Brotherton embarked on a glorious waltzing run down the right, ghosting past 3 defenders in the box, he squared low across the goal and Andrade could not sort his feet out quick enough and stabbed wide from 5 yards out when he seemed sure to score.
Still Town drove forward and Radmore and Maher both had shots well saved by the impressive Hutchins in the Langney goal. Brotherton then came close twice to opening his account for the Barrowmen as a dipping volley was well saved and stinging free-kick was brilliantly saved. Levoi, impressive all afternoon in a holding midfield role, where he broke up play and distributed superbly, nodded wide from a corner shortly before the half time whistle went.
Half time 0-2
There was an early let-off for Town minutes into the second half as Maher dithered on the ball and was dispossessed leaving Langney one on one with Rose, thankfully the ref (very harshly) adjudged that Maher had been fouled.
After this, Town continued to dominate possession and pretty much camped in the Langney half of the pitch, but wasn’t really creating too many clear cut chances, before shortly after the hour they pulled one back.
Sabino, on for Weston, received a good ball from Brotherton out wide, and crossed first time for Radmore to slide home from 6 yards; a well-worked goal. Romain was bought on to add more attacking threat as Town sacrificed a defender. Minutes after the goal Andrade thumped a drive against the Langney crossbar as Town continued to ask all the questions. Rose was briefly bought into action to make a save from a straight drive as the Langney front pair continued to look lively when given the space to do so.
Bull replaced Clark and made a number of good runs down the right but a couple of decent crosses flashed across the goal as The Barrowmen possibly started to realise this was not their day.
At the final whistle the crowd made a sharp run to the clubhouse, if they hadn’t already, but both teams should be commended on a great game in horrific conditions. Langney must be congratulated on an excellent away win and looked strong, committed, organised and played some nice football. As for us, we put in a really good performance, but the early 2 goal deficit proved too much to pull back on the day. However, we are still in good shape and lots to be optimistic about.
Next up Little Common away on Saturday (weather permitting)
Town | Rose, Clark, Boiling, Gathern, Maher, Levoi, Hards, Weston, Radmore, Brotherton, Andrade
Subs | Sabino, Bull, Romain
Not used | Spano, Parazo