Bexhill United missed the chance to go fourth in Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two.
A lack of cutting edge led to a cagey 1-1 draw with AFC Uckfield Town under the lights of The Polegrove last night (Tuesday).
Jamie Morgan had the hosts ahead within 30 seconds with his fifth goal in as many matches, but Danny Andrews’ penalty on four minutes levelled the match and neither side was able to stake a claim for all three points.
The Pirates flew out of the traps when a hopeful ball forward was seized upon by Morgan, who cut in from wide on the left and showed brilliant composure to round Tom Bradford in the Uckfield goal before rolling the ball home.
United’s celebrations were cut short moments later when Marc Munday was unable to get enough purchase on his header back to Yarni Camara and in the resulting slip, was adjudged to have hauled down Scott Taylor inside the box.
Player-manager Munday was incredulous, but Andrews dispatched the resulting spot-kick into the bottom right corner to cap an exciting opening.
Another slip seven minutes in led to a change of boots for Munday, whose aerial dominance led the backline in thwarting two early assaults on the Bexhill goal from Howard Davey and Taylor respectively.
Scott McDonald was unlucky not to score when Chris Cumming-Bart’s teasing free kick deflected onto the forward’s head, but the ball sailed inches wide.
Uckfield got the ball down well at times and threatened early in the second half when Andy Whittingham’s precise throughball was blazed wide by Joe Miller.
Josh Elliott-Noye’s 50th minute header was well saved and the visitors then forced a fantastic stop from Camara when Miller was released through on goal by James Lyall.
Andy Garman’s direct running and pace were a constant threat in the second half, and the Bexhill winger fired into the side-netting. Garman again caused trouble down the left flank and almost rounded Bradford in the 70th minute, but the ball trickled wide.
Atkin’s physicality began to cause problems and he fought off the attention of no less than three Uckfield defenders, but his audacious attempt at a lob failed to threaten.
His clever flick found McDonald in the 85th minute and he put substitute Kevin Barden in on goal, but Bradford saved well to his right and Garman couldn’t apply the finish.
Despite a late penalty shout, Bexhill’s failure to capitalise on a host of chances saw another two points dropped, but the solid performance at the back will encourage Munday in his quest for a league win.
Bexhill: Camara, Cooper, Munday, Elliott-Noye, Clifford (Barden 67), J. Aston, Garman, Cumming-Bart (Ottley 50), McDonald, G. Aston, Morgan (Atkin 60). Sub not used: Tudor.