Mussels lose to Golds
SHOREHAM Football Club were unable to follow up their victory over Wick, losing a hard-fought encounter with Littlehampton by a single goal on Saturday. The Musselmen expected an uncompromising struggle against the league's bottom club, and they certainly got one.
The game had barely started when visiting goalie Jon Hendrick produced two gobsmacking saves to deny Shoreham's Gavin Jones.
First he bent his back to tip over a 25-yard volley bound for the roof of the net. Then, from the ensuing corner, he needed lightning reactions to keep out a header by the same striker. Jones clutched his head in his hands in disbelief.
All this occured in the first few minutes and the spectators, believing it a foretaste of good things to come, waited eagerly for the next action.
Sadly that was as good as it got, as the next 85 minutes failed to live up to this promise. Jones' next shot trickled woefully wide, after which he despondently faded from the game.
Next Littlehampton's manager was heard to be questioning one of the referee's decisions. He was seen taking the long walk from the dug out. "I politely asked him what he thought he was doing," said Trevor Waller, "and he sent me off."
Waller's lowly-placed team did him proud, however. They fought for every ball, tackled everything that moved, and ultimately deserved the points.
There were shooting chances a-plenty, but Shoreham were particularly wasteful of them. It seemed like the only way either team would score would be from a penalty-kick, and sure enough the referee obligingly awarded one.
Golds' Ryan Hudson, one of the game's more enterprising players, was chopped down in the box and Stu Bennett gleefully converted.
Shoreham could not seem to quite get their legs pumping until they introduced three fresh pairs in the second half. Then things perked up somewhat and one of these substitutes, Shaheen Sadough, had two good chances to equalise but shot wide and then too high.
A last-minute scramble ended when Hendrick once more fell on the squirming ball, got up and booted it high into the sky.
The match was over and the points secure.
SHOREHAM: Prior; Dorrington, Hurley, Axten, Townsend; Smith, Boddy, Jordan, O.Callaghan; Jones, Annis. Subs: Burt (Jordan 55), Sadough (Annis 60), Georgiou (Smith 75), Philpott.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Hendrick; Clayton, S.Bennett, Hazel, Bird; Rowland, Waller, Hudson, May; Alexander, Huet. Sub: Merrick (Huet 80), M.Bennett, Hoare, Farrell.