Bexhill come from behind to net four-goal win

Drew Greenall scored probably Bexhill United's goal of the season during their 4-1 win away to AFC Varndeanians. Picture by Simon Newstead

Bexhill United Football Club returned to winning ways after coming from behind to triumph at the Withdean Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Craig Ottley, Drew Greenall, Nathan Lopez and Lewis McGuigan gave the Pirates a 4-1 win away to AFC Varndeanians in Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One.

Bexhill manager Ryan Light said: “It was a good win. I wasn’t overly pleased with the first half, but once we settled down, the second half was really comfortable. With a bit more composure in front of goal, we could’ve had two or three more goals.”

Bexhill fashioned some decent openings early on, but then seemed to take their foot off the gas a bit and Varndeanians crept back into what became quite an even first half.

Varndeanians opened the scoring slightly against the run of play. The ball came across from the left and David Mitchell nipped in on the blindside of Ottley before poking past goalkeeper Dan Rose as he came out.

Bexhill then changed from a 3-5-2 formation to 4-3-3 and almost instantly seemed to get more of a grip on the game.

Having peppered the home goal for around 10 minutes, Bexhill equalised in spectacular fashion shortly before half time. Ottley struck a sublime 25-yard free kick right into the top corner on the goalkeeper’s side for his sixth goal of the season from left-back.

Light still felt the need to ‘read the riot act’ at half time having felt his team was quite lethargic during the opening period and the opposition were much sharper to the ball.

Bexhill began well after the turnaround, and the introduction of substitutes Corey Wheeler and Kevin Barden seemed to give them a real spark of energy.

The visitors took the lead with probably the best goal they’ve scored this season. A move containing five or six passes ended with Georges Gouet teeing up Greenall, who struck a brilliant half-volley into the top corner for his seventh of the campaign.

From that point on Bexhill never looked back. The defence, with McGuigan and Craig McFarlane in superb form, remained as solid as it had been throughout, and Bexhill looked dangerous on the break.

They went 3-1 up when Wheeler did magnificently to get past two defenders near the corner flag, nutmegging one of them, before pulling the ball back for Lopez to finish confidently.

Bexhill put the result beyond doubt when McGuigan - Light’s man of the match for a dominant display in defence - powered a bullet header into the centre of the goal from a corner.

They were whiskers away from adding a fifth goal near the end when a 30-yard free kick from substitute Kenny Butchers rattled the post.

Bexhill: Rose, Robertson (Butchers), McGuigan, McFarlane, Ottley, Gouet (Barden), Holden, Harffey, Lopez, Morgan (Wheeler), Greenall. Sub not used: Giles.

Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 9-25 (+36 goal difference), 2 Wick 9-22 (+20), 3 Selsey 8-19 (+14), 4 Lingfield 9-16 (+11), 5 Langney Wanderers 7-16 (+9), 6 BEXHILL UNITED 9-14 (+9), 7 Seaford Town 8-14 (0), 8 Mile Oak 8-13 (+1), 9 Steyning Town 7-12 (+8).

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