Shoreham Football Club came from a goal down to maintain their two-point lead at the top of the Southern Combination League Premier Division standings on Saturday.
Sam Cane’s strike after ten minutes stunned Mussels but a cracking response saw Tom Burton net twice, while Rob O’Toole, Kieron Pamment and substitute Luke Donaldson were all on the scoresheet as Shoreham romped to a 5-1 win at Middle Road.
Going into the game with a two-point lead over second-placed Haywards Heath Town, Mussels knew all three points were required and they got just that.
Heath bagged a 1-0 win at Eastbourne United to keep the pressure on but boss Bryan O’Toole insists all his team will be doing is focusing on themselves.
He said: “We’re not bothered about anyone else but ourselves. We were fantastic at Chichester City in our last game and just kept the momentum going against Crawley Down.
“To score from four set-pieces was another pleasing factor. We’ve really focused on that in training over the past few weeks and it’s great to see it paying off.
"It may not be what the players want to be doing, repeating corner after corner and free-kick after free-kick, but getting goals from these openings shows it is worthwhile.”
Mussels were caught cold early on, falling behind after ten minutes. The ball fell fortuitously in Cane’s path and he slotted past Josh Heyburn in Shoreham’s goal.
Mussels weren’t behind for long, though, with Burton levelling less than ten minutes later. Jamie Cradock bagged his first assist of the day after his free-kick was finished off by Burton.
Cradock was involved in the second as Mussels turned things around four minutes later. This time Rob O’Toole was on hand to turn home a Cradock corner.
Burton then added another from a free-kick with Cradock the provider yet again, before Pamment completed a crazy ten-minute spell firing a fourth on the half-hour.
Cradock should have had a goal of his hour five minutes prior to the interval, though, his free-kick was ruled out by referee Darren Eaton.
Substitute Donaldson then bagged his first Mussels goal since signing 20 minutes from the end to round off the scoring.
After bagging four assists on the day, Shoreham boss Bryan O’Toole hailed Cradock’s impact.
He added: “Both Jamie and Tom Burton were exceptional.
“For Jamie to get four assists, all form set-pieces, is something really pleasing for me and the team. It just shows all the practice in training is paying off.”
Mussels make the trip to second-bottom strugglers Wick on Saturday.
SHOREHAM: Heyburn; Hartley, Pearson, Kneller, Dryer; J.Keehan, R.O’Toole, Burton; Cradock, Pamment, Packer. Subs: Donaldson (Cradock), Deen (Burton), Gould (Packer), Storrie, O’Hagan.
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