Five-star Shoreham beat Hailsham

George Gaskin was on target against Dorking Wanderers
George Gaskin was on target against Dorking Wanderers

Shoreham Football Club began their Southern Combination League Premier Division campaign with a 5-1 victory at home to Hailsham on Saturday.

George Gaskin hit a hat-trick for Mussels, while Rob O’Toole and Scott Packer were also on target in a comfortable win.

Gaskin got the opener from Scott Packer’s cross on three minutes, before he made it 2-0 from Rob O’Toole’s cross two minutes later.

Hailsham got a goal back when Shoreham keeper Josh Heyburn’s clearance struck a visiting player and fell for Sam Divall to clip the ball home after nine minutes.

Mussels continued to create numerous chances but it took until the 39th minute for them to get a third when O’Toole headed home Packer’s cross.

Packer then scored at the second attempt to make it 4-1 three minutes later.

Shoreham had several opportunities in the second half, before Gaskin completed his hat-trick from a goalmouth scramble in the final minute.

Mussels boss Bryan O’Toole said: “Even if we’d scored 12, it wouldn’t have reflected how many chances we had.

“At the start of last season, when I was with Haywards Heath, I thought I’d never play in a game again where a team created so many chances. We had 25 that day against Southwick and somehow lost 3-1 but, on Saturday, we must have had 30 to 35 chances.

“We looked like scoring every two minutes and were just camped in their half. We should have scored more but at the end of the day we got the three points and that’s all that matters.

“It was disappointing to concede the goal we did. Josh’s clearance smashed into their player and fell for someone else to tap in, so there wasn’t a lot we could do about it.”

SHOREHAM: Heyburn; Hartley, M.Hand, Storrie, Cradock, O’Hagan, Packer, J.Keehan, Gaskin, R.O’Toole, Greenfield. Subs: Zydonik (Cradock 50), Davis (Greenfield 55), Stevens (Packer 65), Pearson, Measor.

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