Worthing & Horsham District Sunday League – vets division Sunday January 7th 2018 –Southfields Rec, Littlehampton
Arun View Vets 2 (1) – Hills Farm Lane Vets 3 (2)
Manager – Mark Murphy
Hills Farm bounced back after the shock, pre Christmas defeat at Goring CC to register a fine win away to impressive Arun View. The first game against the same opponents ended in a toughly fought 3-2 win for The Farm so Murph was under no illusions to the task ahead despite the home teams strangely underwhelming results in the league so far.
The game kicked off with Hills Farm on the front foot and, using the speed of their forwards, Gavin and Karim backed up by wingers Tomek and Kev Boyle, lots of chances came in the first 15 minutes but were spurned by just one touch too many or by failing to pass to a supporting teammate. The deserved opener came after good work from right back, Chris Lord who passed to the wing where Kev Boyle took a touch and played in a glorious cross that Lordy himself got on the end of having carried on his run. A clever glancing header was enough to beat the onrushing keeper and could only be helped into the net by a desperate defender.
The second Farm goal came from the other full back – Richard Bramwell. A corner from Gavin was hit invitingly into the 6 yard box but this time Richards glanced header wasn’t enough to cross the line, but the defender cleared straight back to Big Rich who gleefully smacked the ball home and celebrated in style! At this point Hills Farm looked well in control, with the centre mids, Gareth and Liam working hard even if out-numbered at times. So Hills Farm seemed set fair for a comfortable win, but a combination of careless off-sides and good defending kept the home side in it, and it was not exactly against the run of play when the referee awarded a penalty for a robust challenge by Iron Tommy Burnside. Hills Farm protested the decision with Tommy vehemently insisting it was a fair challenge but V.A.R isn’t available at this level and the decision stood. Arun Views striker smacked the ball past the despairing dive of Fergie to peg Hills Farm back.
HT – 1-2
Murph rang the changes at half time, bringing on a new strike force of Darron “Big D” Mitchell and Dan “Hire” Purchase and a new midfield pairing of Matt Dormer and Rob Flynn to combat the expected midfield battle of the second half. A few crunching tackles from Matt and Rob soon quietened the opposition down and the defence was looking settled with Sean Costello having his usual faultless game at centre back matched by the “they shall not pass” determination and strength of Tommy. The third goal when it came was a thing of beauty. Rob battled well to win the ball on the left flank and pinged a superb through ball onto Big D’s foot on the edge of the box. The big striker controlled the ball and smashed it past the keeper to seemingly put the game to bed! Dan Purchase was making his presence felt chasing down every ball and never letting the defenders settle and he and Tomek were building up a good understanding. Tomek went unlucky with a one on one that the keeper kept out as Hills Farm looked to extend the lead.
But Arun View are a great team and battled back with vigour. But today was one of Ben Fergusons best days in goal for the Farm and he made several eye popping saves when it seemed a goal was inevitable. Even after his resistance was finally broken by Aruns second goal he responded with a fantastic double save to secure the win, seemingly growing an extra hand to push the ball over the bar from close range. Arun View kept up the pressure and nerves were shredding on the away bench as the ref awarded a corner with time seemingly up but Hills Farm resisted and the ref blew for time.
A fantastic game between two quality teams and a draw would not have been unfair but Hills Farm perhaps needed this more and look to push on in their quest for the title with just 4 games left to play. There will be tough games to follow but at the end everyone agreed that Arun Side were the best team we have played so far so we fear no-one!
Chris Lord - 1
Richard Bramwell - 1
Darron Mitchell - 1