Four second half goals sink Rye

Jordan Woodley ended Rye United's scoring drought with a delightful free kick. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Jordan Woodley ended Rye United's scoring drought with a delightful free kick. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Rye United finally ended their scoring drought, but not their Hassocks hoodoo as they lost 4-1 at a sunny Salts yesterday (Saturday).

Jordan Woodley gave Rye a half time lead with their first goal in around 325 minutes, but bogie side Hassocks scored four times after the break to turn the Sussex County Football League Division One match on its head.

Woodley opened the scoring after just 10 minutes with a delightful free kick, curling his shot around the Hassocks defensive wall and into the corner of the net past a motionless goalkeeper.

That was the sole memorable moment of a scrappy first half punctuated by numerous free kicks and injury stoppages. Hassocks had most of the possession, but failed to fashion a goalscoring chance as Rye - whose previous two games ended goalless - looked comfortable defensively.

It was a different story after the restart, though. Hassocks equalised less than 40 seconds into the second half when a powerful shot from outside the box hit Rye goalkeeper Greg Nessling in the chest and Phil Johnson poked home the rebound.

Hassocks took command with two goals in a minute just before the hour mark. The first of them was a Phil Gault penalty after Nessling was booked for bringing down Johnson, who then scored the next when the usually dependable Nessling’s attempted clearance hit him and rebounded into the net.

The visitors sealed their win with a fourth goal in the 81st minute. Nessling elected not to come for a Tom Davies free kick from the right and the tall figure of Kieran O’Callaghan headed home at the far post.

Missing the likes of Ade Olorunda and Liam Upton, Rye offered little as an attacking force in the second 45 minutes, but almost nabbed an added time consolation. Evan Archibald struck the post with a lunging volley from Micky O’Callaghan’s right wing cross.

Rye: Nessling, O’Callaghan, Hales, Alexander, Hope, Masters, Storey, Billings, Archibald, Berry (Deegan 81), Woodley (Shonk HT). Subs not used: Jinks, Mole, Camara.