Mussels undone by quickfire strikes

Action from Littlehampton v Shoreham on Saturday
Action from Littlehampton v Shoreham on Saturday

SHOREHAM Football Club’s hopes of getting anything from leaders Littlehampton on Saturday were ended by three goals in a seven-minute spell either side of half-time.

Mussels went into the match after back-to-back wins but two goals from George Gaskin and one each from Joe Shelley and Dave Herbert took Golds to victory as both sides finished with ten men.

Darren Boswell forced Mussels keeper Nic Taylor into a smart low stop after just two minutes but Golds went ahead only two minutes later. Herbert’s shot from 20 yards struck both posts before falling to Gaskin, who slid the ball home from an angle eight yards out.

Gaskin shot wide when he got clean through on 19 minutes, before Mussels began to get more into the match. Littlehampton stopper Matt Morrish saved an effort from the lively Ross Myers on 23 minutes but Mussels were unable to create any clear openings.

The hosts doubled their advantage on 42 minutes when Mussels striker Kai Bichard’s misplaced pass went straight to Gaskin and he slipped in the influential Shelley, who drilled home a low strike from 20 yards.

Littlehampton went 3-0 ahead on the stroke of half-time when Shelley won possession in his half and released Kieron Pamment. He skipped past Jason Edwards down the right and crossed for Gaskin, who took a touch and side-footed home from six yards.

Golds added a fourth just four minutes into the second half when Gaskin chested the ball down to Herbert, who flicked the ball home from 15 yards.

Littlehampton were reduced to ten men just two minutes later when Liam Humphreys was dismissed for a full-blooded challenge on Bichard. Golds felt Shoreham’s striker should have seen red for his reaction but he was just booked after referee Barrie Small spoke to one of his assistants.

Mussels’ Taylor was booked for his part in the discussions that followed and that was to prove costly for the keeper, recently called up to the Montserrat squad for their World Cup qualifiers, on 57 minutes.

He tried to shield the ball out of play from Pamment, who won possession and was then dragged back by Taylor, who was shown a second yellow card.

Chances on a sticky pitch were few and far between in the remainder of the game, although Mussels did go close to a consolation on a couple of occasions.

Myers’s shot from 12 yards forced Morrish into a superb save diving to his right on 82 minutes, before Mike Damario fizzed a shot over a minute later.

SHOREHAM: Taylor; Damario, Gregory, Allan, Edwards, Bozyigit; Rudwick, Fleming, Idiong, Myers; Bichard. Subs: Measor (Bozyigit 57), Best (Bichard 63), Laughlin (Fleming 72), Goldson.