Shoreham smash eight in victory against Rangers

Carlton Murray-Price heads home to complete his hat-trick. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Carlton Murray-Price heads home to complete his hat-trick. Picture by Stephen Goodger

SHOREHAM Football Club recorded their third 8-0 victory of the season on Saturday in a one-sided rout against struggling St Francis Rangers.

Mussels equalled their FA Cup extra-preliminary round win over Rangers from August and Sussex RUR Cup success at division-lower Sidlesham in October in front of a bumper crowd at Middle Road.

Shoreham’s groundstaff worked hard during the week to ensure the match went ahead, with 13 hours preparation put in during the days leading up to the game.

It was just one of four matches in the Southern Combination League to go ahead after heavy rain last week and Mussels dominated from start to finish against a Rangers side who have now lost all 22 of their Premier Division games this season and conceded 151 goals.

Rangers’ player-boss is now former Shoreham striker Kai Bichard and although his side did not lack endeavour or commitment, they lacked the quality to trouble Simon Funnell’s Shoreham team.

Rangers’ Mack Jones had a cross-shot pushed away by Shoreham keeper Jo McLoughlin on five minutes, before Mussels went ahead four minutes later.

Brad Curtis, who had already shot an opening wide, over ran the ball but recovered to slide it to Ben Chick and he clinically fired past St Francis keeper Jake Rudwick from 20 yards.

Rain fell heavily for the opening 20 minutes, which made conditions difficult as the pitch cut up but Shoreham continued to get the ball down and play nice football when possible.

Curtis had another couple of opportunities, before he slipped Carlton Murray-Price through to double Mussels’ lead on 31 minutes, with the shot having just enough on it to cross the line.

Murray-Price then had an effort cleared off the line as it held up on the sticky surface, before he blazed over from a couple of yards from Chick’s low cross.

Chick was then denied by the underside of the bar as Rangers rarely threatened and when they did venture forward, their attacks were too often ended by the linesman’s flag for offside.

Shoreham took a 2-0 lead into half-time and it took them just 15 seconds of the second half to get a third as Liam Hunter fed Murray-Price, who slotted home from 15 yards.

The one-way traffic continued and after Rudwick kept out shots from Steve Betancourt and Curtis, debutant Bobby Webbe, who came on moments earlier, delivered free kicks for Murray Price - to complete his hat-trick - and then Marc Pelling to head home in the space of two minutes.

Another sub, Michael Belli, tapped home the sixth on the hour after Chick had pulled the ball back following an excellent team move and by that stage it was just a question of how many Shoreham would win by.

Craig Goodsir netted the seventh on 79 minutes - the 150th league goal St Francis have conceded this season, before Rangers’ Thomas Johnston had a couple of half-chances to score just his side’s third league goal of the season.

First, Mussels captain Ant Panayi got back to clear the danger on 81 minutes, before Johnston’s low shot from an angle was pushed away by McLoughlin on 84 minutes.

Betancourt limped off in the closing stages which left Shoreham down to ten men, with all their substitutions made, but they still added a late eighth when Pelling side-footed home Goodsir’s pass from 15 yards.

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