Southwick win to throw promotion race wide open
Southwick Football Club boss John Kilgarriff feels his side have given themselves an outside chance of promotion from Southern Combination League Division 1 following their latest success on Saturday.
A Ross Myers spot-kick and Dean Smith strike in the final 15 minutes saw them ease to a 2-0 home triumph over fellow promotion chasers Oakwood.
Saturday’s victory was a fifth in succession for Wickers and saw them close the gap on their third-placed opponents to just three points.
Southwick, who sit sixth in the table, saw their promotion hopes boosted further with fifth-placed Mile Oak and fourth-placed Storrington both losing.
The latest round of results has now set-up a tense finale with all four teams vying for the final promotion spot.
Kilgarriff has been delighted with his side’s late push and believes they are in with an outside chance of going up this season.
He said: “Saturday was a massive win for us and leaves us with a chance at promotion still.
“Five weeks ago, we were mid-table and it looked as though we would just play the season out.
“Full credit to the boys, though, we’ve won our last five to give ourselves a slight chance now.
“To be at this stage of the season with something to play for is great for the club.
“It’s been a crazy past three seasons for us. Two seasons back we avoided relegation from Division 2 on the final day, followed that up with a double last year and are now in with a shout at back-to-back promotions.
“Finishing in the top-three was never an aim of ours this season but we are in with a shout and will do the best we can to try and achieve it.”
Both sides cancelled each other out in what proved to be a tense opening 45 minutes on Saturday.
With so much at stake, not many chances were created and it was scoreless at half-time.
Kilgarriff introduced Tom Donnelly for the second half and that proved to be the difference.
Donnelly caused the Oakwood backline endless problems and went close on three occasions before Wickers’ opener.
That came 15 minutes from time when Tom Shelley was hauled down in Oakwood’s area and a penalty was awarded. Myers fired home to give Southwick the lead.
Smith crashed a half-volley home after Oakwood failed to fully clear their lines five minutes later to make it 2-0 and that was how it ended.
Kilgarriff felt his side’s second-half display warranted the three points.
He said: “We were a lot better in the second half and deserved the victory.
“We were dominant for all of the second half and the introduction of Tom Donnelly made a difference.”
SOUTHWICK: Howard; Tucker, Lipscombe, C.McClymont, McLennan; Piner, Shelley, Smith; Myers, W.McClymont, Peskett. Subs: Donnelly (W.McClymont), Pressley (Peskett), Green.
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