Funnell feels ‘totally let down’ after defeat at EP

Mussels midfielder Matt Fleming in action during Saturday's 4-1 win against Wick & Barnham United
Mussels midfielder Matt Fleming in action during Saturday's 4-1 win against Wick & Barnham United

Shoreham Football Club boss Simon Funnell labelled his side’s Southern Combination League Premier Division showing at East Preston on Tuesday a disgrace.

Dan Huet bagged a brace while Kris Harding also netted as EP secured just their second league win of the season, with a 3-0 victory.

Mussels had ended a six-game winless run with a 4-1 success at home to Wick & Barnham United on Saturday.

However, after an accident on the A27, Shoreham’s players arrived at EP just ten minutes before kick-off.

But Funnell admitted his side had no excuses and he felt the players let him down massively on the day.

He said: “It’s frustrating beyond belief, to be honest. I don’t normally name players, but apart from Steve Betancourt, Dan Hutchins, Michael Belli and Matt Fleming, who did okay, the rest were a disgrace.

“That performance was just not acceptable and, if I can bring players in by Saturday, I will.

“You just simply cannot have that. Okay, preparation was not great, but we started slowly and they just wanted it more than us.

“They scored twice early on and after that my players just totally let us down.”

Shoreham got off to a terrible start and found themselves behind on three minutes. Scott Johnston’s slip allowed Harding in and the forward took his chance with a clinical finish.

Things got worse for Mussels four minutes later when they went two down.

Neat passing between Alex Wilson and Huet saw the latter race away and his left-foot strike nestled in the bottom corner.

Michael Belli was Shoreham’s main threat and he wasted two gilt-edged opportunities. First, he somehow managed to head over from three yards after Craig Goodsir’s cross picked him out on 32 minutes.

Then four minutes later, EP failed to clear their lines but his shot struck a post with Reece Markwick well beaten.

Mussels showed some signs of improvement in the second half but were caught on the counter with 58 minutes played. Harding was sent racing clear before he cleverly cut the ball back for Huet to slot home his second.

It was not to be Shoreham’s day and Betancourt’s 25-yard thunderbolt came back off a post before Belli then headed wide from Goodsir’s cross as Mussels fell to a disappointing defeat.

East Preston head coach Paul Ettridge said: “If I’m honest, this win has been coming in recent weeks. We’ve signed some players on and have played well for 60 minutes in matches without getting the wins.

“But everything came together for us and I’m delighted for all the boys, especially after their efforts.

“These are the games we need to be winning, though. We’ve got Hailsham next and we want back-to-back wins.

“Obviously, we’ve only won twice all season but hopefully we can put a little run together now and spark a survival charge.”

Shoreham travel to Loxwood on Saturday.

SHOREHAM: Hutchins; Johnston, Betancourt, Panayi, Goodsir; Belli, Fleming; Heath, Hunter, O’Connor; Curtis. Subs: Munday (O’Connor), Dunk (Hunter), Baitup (Heath), Mason.

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