Mussels get title quest back on track after downing Dockers

Luke Donaldson netted and bagged an assist for Shoreham on Saturday. Picture by Steve Mills
Luke Donaldson netted and bagged an assist for Shoreham on Saturday. Picture by Steve Mills

Shoreham Football Club got their Southern Combination League Premier Division title push back on track on Saturday.

First-half strikes from Luke Donaldson and Joe Shelley were followed by Kieron Pamment’s effort in the second as Mussels sealed a 3-0 success at Newhaven.

Leaders Shoreham suffered defeat at the hands of place-below Haywards Heath Town last time out to see their lead at the summit cut to just two points.

After Heath ran out 3-2 winners against Littlehampton Town, boss Bryan O’Toole was pleased with his side’s response at Newhaven.

He said: “It was a solid, pleasing display on Saturday. Everytime we’ve lost this season we’ve managed to bounce back and get all three points in the following game.

“That’s been an important message from me following our defeats to make sure it does not happen again.

“Newhaven failed to trouble us and I was a little surprised by that as they’ve got some quality players.

“We missed a penalty and sever other opportunities, so it could easily have been more than the three we got.”

Donaldson was restored to the starting line-up and netted after 12 minutes. Alex Laing’s cross found Donaldson and he fired home with his left-foot.

Mussels were gifted the chance to go further ahead ten minutes later. Felipe Luiz handled in the are with referee Ian Moore pointing to the spot.

Joe Dryer’s penalty struck a post and came back out, then Pamment was unable to poke home the rebound.

Donaldson then turned provider with Joe Shelley heading his corner home to add a second a minute into first half stoppage-time.

It was one-way traffic in the second as Mussels continued to dominate.

Pamment rounded Jake Buss in Dockers’ goal and slotted into the empty net to round of the scoring 24 minutes from time.

Mussels now face two games in two days with clashes against mid-table Horsham YMCA and Lancing to come over Easter.

Shoreham host Horsham on Saturday, then travel to rivals Lancing two days later.

Shelley picked up his tenth booking of the season, meaning he’ll miss both Easter games, while Rob O’Toole and Adam Kneller both picked up knocks during Saturday’s game.

Mussels boss Bryan O’Toole believes his squad will be stretched to the limit in this busy week.

He added: “Rob and Adam got knocks on Saturday, while Joe (Shelley) collected his tenth booking of the season.

“It’s a busy few days coming up with matches and it could well be a test of the squad.

“We’ve got four games left with the focus firmly on ourselves in these final matches.

“Everyone will be looking to beat us and stop us from achieving what we want. We’ve been top for 33 weeks this season, so hopefully we’ll be able to stay there for a few more but we know how tough of a task it will be.”

SHOREHAM: Heyburn; Hartley, Pearson, O’Hagan, Dryer; J.Keehan, Shelley, R.O’Toole; Laing, Pamment, Donladson. Subs: Kneller (R.O’Toole), Caplin (J.Keehan), Packer (Donaldson), Cradock, Burton.

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