Late penalty leaves Wickers ruing missed opportunites

Wickers' Lee Denyer clears the ball on Saturday. Picture ny Derek Martin
Wickers' Lee Denyer clears the ball on Saturday. Picture ny Derek Martin

SOUTHWICK Football Club boss John Kilgarriff was left frustrated after his side conceded five minutes from time to slip to defeat away to table-toppers Storrington on Saturday.

Tom Shelley fired Wickers into an 11th minute lead and it all looked to be going so well for Kilgarriff’s men.

However, a second half fight-back from Swans saw Josey Stakim equalise, before Luke Jearum got the winner from the penalty spot.

It was Wickers’ first game since a 4-1 league loss to neighbours Mile Oak at the end of last month.

Kilgarriff was disappointed with the late penalty decision and felt his side deserved at least a point.

He said: “It was gutting to lose the game in the way we did.

“The referee gave a penalty for a foul which looked as though it was outside of the area.

“I’ve no complaints that it was a foul but, from my view point, it was outside the area.

“But I’m taking nothing away from Storrington, they have a good side and are doing well this season.

“It’s another one of those games where we come away thinking a point would have been fair.

“We had so many chances in the first half but could only take one. As a team, we need to learn to make the most of the chances that we have.

“It was just a really frustrating afternoon in the end for myself and the players. As the game went on, the pitch made it more and more difficult for both teams.

“That’s a second successive loss now and we need to turn this form around.

“We’re a side that were not used to losing last season and it’s hard to take when we do.

“The attitude from the players was so much better but it’s important we convert our opportunities.”

Wickers went ahead on 11 minutes when Shelley fired home from close range.

That goal gave Southwick a huge lift and they had a number of chances to extend their lead.

Andy McDowell twice struck a post, Jack Piner fired wide and Lee Denyer had an effort cleared on the goalline.

Those misses would come back to haunt Kilgarriff’s men as Swans levelled things up 17 minutes after the break.

In-form forward Stakim bagged his 14th league goal of the campaign to make it 1-1.

The home side were lifted by that goal and began to boss proceedings.

Their efforts were rewarded with five minutes left on the clock. Denyer fouled Jearum and the referee pointed to the penalty spot to give Swans a chance to take all three points.

Jearum stepped up and slammed the penalty home to put Storrington ahead.

Substitute Marcus Strevens went close to making it 2-2 late on but he failed to find the target as Wickers were left to rue their missed chances.

Wickers, who dropped a place to seventh, head to Bexhill United in the league on Saturday as they look to return to winning ways.

SOUTHWICK: Martin; W.McClymont, C.McClymont, Denyer, Gregory; Piner, Smith, Shelley; Myers, McDowell, Lipscombe. Subs: Donnelly (W.McClymont), Strevens (Shelley), Peskett (Lipscombe), Watts, Newman.

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