Pressure off Mussels ahead of crunch clash – O’Toole

Rob O'Toole hit a hat-trick as Shoreham cruised past Arundel on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16155345
Rob O'Toole hit a hat-trick as Shoreham cruised past Arundel on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16155345

Shoreham Football Club boss Bryan O’Toole looked ahead to Saturday’s crunch clash at fellow title challengers Pagham and insisted: “The pressure is on them.”

Mussels have been in outstanding form this season and have won 15 of their 16 Southern Combination League Premier Division matches to top the table.

Many people tipped Pagham to challenge for the title along with Shoreham this season, but defeats in their past two league games has seen the Lions drop eight points off the pace.

With the two going head to head at Nyetimber Lane on Saturday, O’Toole insists the pressure is off his team.

He said: “It’s going to be a really tough game, we know that.

“Pagham have lost their past two matches and they aren’t going to roll over for us on Saturday.

“The toughest challenges I’m expecting this season are Pagham and Haywards Heath and we’ve got both still to come.

“If someone was to offer me a point now I’d take it but I believe we can win the game.

“If we play to the potential that this team has, I see no reason why we can’t come away with all three points – but this is not an easy place to go and do that.”

Mussels prepared for the clash with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Premier Division strugglers Arundel at Middle Road on Saturday.

Rob O’Toole hit a hat-trick, while Richard Greenfield and Tom Burton both netted in the comprehensive success.

Shoreham boss Bryan O’Toole felt it was as comfortable as the scoreline suggested and said: “We played nowhere near as well as we did the week before (6-0 win against AFC Uckfield) but we still scored five goals and won the game.

“All that really matters for me is winning football matches and we managed to do that once again on Saturday.

“Arundel did not really offer much at all, it was quite easy for us to be honest.

“We’ve scored 11 goals in our past two games, which sets us up nicely for a massive trip to Pagham on Saturday.”

Shoreham were quick out of the blocks and went ahead after ten minutes. Rob O’Toole’s fine left-footed delivery was headed home by Greenfield, who scored for the second successive match.

Mussels had to wait until the half-hour mark before adding a second when Rob O’Toole got his first.

A comprehensive showing in the opening 45 minutes was then completed as O’Toole’s diving header put Mussels 3-0 in front.

Burton fired home a fourth ten minutes after the restart, before a fine curling finish saw O’Toole complete his hat-trick and hand Mussels an emphatic victory.

SHOREHAM: Heyburn; Packer, Zydonik, O’Hagan, Hartley; Denyer, J.Keehan; Greenfield, Burton, Dryer; O’Toole. Subs: Storrie (Zydonik), Goldson (Greenfield), Chadwick (Packer), Rowe-Hurst, Measor.

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