Wick's mixed week - Arundel look forward - Rustington in groove
Hotshot Conor Bull took his tally to four goals in three matches as Wick returned to winning ways at sunny Crabtree Park.
The Dragons striker fired home twice as the hosts eased past Storrington in an entertaining match, providing the perfect answer after losing 2-0 to Worthing United in midweek.
Wick began their Southern Combination Division 1 Supplementary Shield campaign with a 3-1 win over Shoreham when Bull also scored at the double.
Jake Hawker put the hosts in front, heading in a ninth-minute corner at the far post, before Bull tapped into an empty net four minutes before half-time following a surging run and unselfish pass from Sammy Ndlovu.
New goalkeeper Louis Boughton made a superb diving save to his right to protect the two-goal lead before Rob Hutchings beat a defender and slotted into the bottom corner in the 67th minute.
Ndlovu linked well with Bull a couple of minutes later to give the forward his second double of the campaign before the Swans showed some spirit by grabbing two late goals through an angled drive from substitute Nick Bristow and a decent effort from James Henton.
Shoreham 1 Wick 0
A late goal on the break and a saved penalty sent the Dragons to defeat and tumbling out of the Supplementary Shield at Shoreham on Tuesday.
The Dragons were thwarted by Musselmen goalkeeper Ricardo Alves as they battled to build on the victory at Storrington.
Shoreham looked dangerous on the counter-attack in a competitive match. Rob Hutchings, Conor Bull and Kieron Howard went close for the visitors in a first half in which Dragons goalkeeper Louis Boughton made three superb saves before Shoreham struck the bar.
Wick could have gone ahead in the second half through Alex Jew or Andy Chick, but in the 70th minute Hutchings was sent crashing in the Shoreham area.
Howard’s penalty was brilliantly saved by Alves.
Shoreham grabbed the winner when Michael Death raced clear and clipped the ball over Boughton.
Wick go to Worthing United on Saturday but cannot now overhaul the hosts.
Billingshurst 3 Arundel 1
Arundel boss Simon Hull is already starting to think about next season.
And he admitted he used Saturday’s SCFL Shield visit to Billingshurst as a chance to try out some fringe players.
The early kick-off – because of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – meant a number of senior Mullets players were unavailable for the trip.
Arundel lost 3-1 in Saturday’s game – though quickly put that result behind them with a 6-2 home success over Roffey on Tuesday night.
Speaking after the loss at Billingshurst, Hull said: “Billingshurst was an opportunity for us to rotate.
“Because of the imposed early kick-off, I had a large number of senior players unavailable because of work commitments.
“It was frustrating in one sense but afforded us the opportunity to rotate and look at a few others, some of whom enhanced their claims for first team football.
“The result was disappointing but certainly didn’t match the performance and effort the players put in.
“We are already looking ahead and planning for next season and looking to improve and compete in the right half of the table.”
* Elsewhere in the SCFL Shield, East Preston were beaten 4-2 at Pagham and Mile Oak lost 2-1 at home to AFC Varndeanians.
Worthing United were 4-0 winners at Shoreham and Arundel went down 3-1 at Billingshurst.
Ferring hammered Rottingdean 5-1.
Rustington 3 Montpelier Villa
Rustington are hitting form at the right time – they followed up a win at Littlehampton United with an impressive 3-1 win over previously unbeaten Montpelier Villa.
Rustington came flying out the blocks and were ahead in the second minute, Mike Gilchrist on hand to smash home following a corner.
Lively trio James Butt, Josh Irish and Chris Darwin were causing the visitors problems and the lead was doubled when Butt brilliantly headed home at the near post following brilliant work out wide from Chris Darwin.
Irish should have increased the scoreline when he found himself one-on-one with the keeper only to see his tame effort well saved.
Gary Peters and Rob Brown impressed in midfield and Alex MacIver and Mike Gilchrist were dominant at the back for Rustington.
In the 34th minute, Darwin fired home from 15 yards to make it 3-0.
The second half was quieter but Billy Nash in the home goal wasn’t really tested and the home side continued to carve out opportunities.
There was a flashpoint in the 72nd minute when Jake Cleall appeared to be caught off the ball with a stray arm but the referee deemed no action was required.
Montpelier nabbed a late consolation though as Regan Miles headed past Nash.
This was a big win in the context of the competition, meaning a win on Saturday against Rottingdean could see Rustington progress to the semi finals. It’s dependent on Montpelier’s result against unbeaten Worthing Town.
Rustington: Nash, MacIver, Gilchrist, Beaney, Miles, Cleall, Brown, Peters, J Butt, Irish, Darwin. Subs: Chick, Wotherspoon, Bennett, John, Crouch.
Yapton 1 Felpham Colts 4
Yapton lost their second match in succession in the five-team group competition staged by the West Sussex League.
Having already gone down 2-1 at Harting, they were beaten 4-1 at home to Felpham - despite the Felpham goalkeeper receiving his marching orders for alleged foul and abusive language while it was still 0-0.
Jake Dean in the Yapton goal made four excellent saves in the goalless first half before his opposite number was dismissed.
But in the second period Yapton made many mistakes and were punished, going 3-0 down before Josh Dean pulled one back from 25 yards.
There was no serious comeback and Felpham added their fourth just before the end.