Two Goals but still a Defeat
By Mick Webster
Seaford Town’s woes continued on Saturday with yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Rustington,
Seaford Town’s woes continued on Saturday with yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Rustington, but the level of performance was raised considerably and for the first time this season they actually took the lead.
The problems with team selection continue to blight caretaker manager Ben Barnett with no fewer than 13 players declaring their inability to make the early kick off in Rustington, which meant he was forced to use players carrying injuries and also play himself in defence. There was also a start for his brother Dan who led the attack and a debut for new signing Ben Courtnage.
Rustington have had an influx of players in recent weeks which has seen them lift themselves away from the relegation zone, but Town had hopes of getting their points tally off to a start, especially after Matt Acton gave them a 5th minute lead, heading in a right wing corner.
The goal, which was only their 5th of the season lifted the spirits of the side and confidence began to flow, but unfortunately the bright sunlight over Littlehampton caused the Seaford defence to lose sight of a long clearance and the ball found Gary Peters on the left and his finish from the edge of the area gave Ben Head no chance in Town’s goal.
That was in the 16th minute, then just 2 minutes later Tom Baker was on hand to put his side ahead, running through the defence before finishing under Head.
It could have been worse a further 2 minutes later when the Assistant Referee adjudged the ball to have gone out of play off John Pullinger when it appeared the whole of the ball had not crossed the touchline. With Pullinger appealing the decision Rustington took advantage with a quick throw which left Peters on his own again but this time Barnett managed to get to him but his challenge brought him down and a penalty was awarded.
Regan Miles stepped up to take the spot kick which he struck hard to Head’s left but the Town ‘keeper pulled off an incredible save to claw it away from inside the post. He was then able to spring off the ground to parry the follow up effort for a corner.
Just before the half-hour Town drew level with an excellent goal. A superb ball was played down the left for Matt Hayward, he cut back inside before laying it into the path of Acton and the young Town midfielder fired the ball into the bottom corner for his second of the game.
It was no more than Town deserved, but once again the frailties at the back cost them dear. First a long range effort was tipped onto the bar by Head but it was Rustington who reacted quickest with Steve Gettings stabbing the rebound home, then deep into added time another long clearance caught them out and Peters took advantage with another fine finish.
In between Hayward and Acton had both had excellent chances to add to the reduce the arrears, then after the break they had more of the play but just couldn’t find that important breakthrough with substitute Dean Paston guilty of the worst miss when he put the ball wide from 3 yards.
New boy Courtnage was impressive, even if he was struggling towards the end and will surely be influential in any Seaford revival.
Manger Barnett was delighted with the effort and commitment put in by the team on the day and also during the midweek training sessions when he had a tremendous response, something the previous manager was unable to achieve.
Team: Head, Brown, Stannard, Newson (Tullett), Pullinger, B.Barnett, Le Cras, Acton (Thornton), D.Barnett (Paston), Hayward, Courtnage