First home game ends all-square

Anthony Cooper on the ball for Bexhill United in their 1-1 draw at home to Mile Oak. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-150919-193819002)
Anthony Cooper on the ball for Bexhill United in their 1-1 draw at home to Mile Oak. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-150919-193819002)
  • Bexhill United draw 1-1 at home to Mile Oak
  • Phipps gives Bexhill a half time lead
  • Oak equalise just before midway point of second half
  • Bexhill’s first draw of season in first home league game
  • Pirates still unbeaten in league since opening day

Bexhill United’s footballers picked up their first draw of the season in their opening home league match of the campaign.

The Pirates contested a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Mile Oak in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One yesterday (Saturday).

Ben Phipps gave Bexhill a half time lead, but Oak levelled after the restart and a draw was probably a fair result on a very pleasant September afternoon at The Polegrove.

Oak failed to make the most of a decent headed opportunity at the far post and home goalkeeper Yankuba Camara saved low to his right from Adam Dine, while at the other end, Kevin Barden had a penalty appeal turned down and Sam Cooper headed just wide when he bravely challenged Oak goalkeeper Aaron Stenning from a George Aston free kick.

Bexhill opened the scoring slightly against the run of play in the 22nd minute. Stenning failed to convincingly deal with Jack Aston’s left wing corner and Phipps cleverly flicked the ball into the corner of the net.

The rest of the first half on a poor pitch was a bit of a stalemate. The only real noteworthy incident saw Cooper go to ground under the challenge of Chris Pulling, but the referee waved away his confident penalty appeals.

The second half was a stop-start, fractious affair to begin with as a few robust tackles went in. Stuart Garrod volleyed just wide for Oak following a free kick into the box, while for Bexhill, a good turn and shot by Phipps from just outside the box brought a decent save out of Stenning low to his left.

The visitors equalised in the 65th minute. Luke Pullinger got in Bexhill down the Oak left and his low ball across goal was turned home from close range by Asa Turley-George.

There was a good deal more goalmouth action as the game livened up in the closing quarter. Turley-George’s goalbound header from a corner was blocked near the line, while Joe Hall made a potentially goal-saving tackle on Phipps at the other end and Barden’s follow-up was saved by Stenning.

Marc Munday’s towering header from a George Aston free kick was well saved by Stenning low to his right and Oak substitute Jack Whittington would’ve been disappointed not to have done better with a header at the end of a three-on-three break.

As both teams pushed for a winner but neither could come up with one, Cooper was booked for diving as he went to ground in the Oak box while trying to round Stenning.

Bexhill: Camara, Cooper, N. Tudor, Elliott-Noye, Munday, J. Aston, Garman (A. Tudor 89), Phipps, Cooper, G. Aston, Barden. Sub not used: Ottley.

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