Goals galore on opening day

Dominic Clarke goes up for a header during Westfield's draw at home to Wick & Barnham United
Dominic Clarke goes up for a header during Westfield's draw at home to Wick & Barnham United
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The goals flowed on the opening day of the new Sussex County Football League season.

The games involving the area’s four teams produced an amazing 26 goals as the strikers found their feet rather more quickly than the defenders at the start of the new term.

Rye United began their Division One programme with a 2-2 draw away to St Francis Rangers. The first half ended with one goal each and one red card each. Gregg Berry netted on his Rye debut, but Tom Hughes was sent-off. An own goal put Rye 2-1 ahead only for Sam Jeremiah to level for Saints.

Elsewhere, Westfield twice came from two goals behind to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to the newly-named Wick & Barnham United in Division Two. A pair of strikes from outside the box put Westfield two-down inside 25 minutes and although Dominic Clarke pulled one back, a penalty made it 3-1 at the break.

Steve Thomson again reduced the deficit to one in the first minute of the second period and the same player levelled things up in the 84th minute. An 88th minute penalty save from Dan Foster and the rebound hitting the crossbar ensured Westfield avoided defeat.

Little Common conceded a last minute goal to lose 5-4 in an incredible game away to Oakwood. Common went ahead in the first two minutes through a long range volley by Charlie Bachellier only for Oakwood to level four minutes later.

A 25-yard strike by player-manager Russell Eldridge put Common back in front and Lewis Hole made it 3-1 in the 16th minute. Oakwood pulled one back midway through the first half, but Bachellier made it 4-2 with a back post header.

The hosts got back to 4-3 at the break via a penalty and equalised in the 52nd minute. Oakwood eventually grabbed a winner with 30 seconds to go, the first time they had been ahead all afternoon.

Bexhill United lost 4-3 in another high-scoring game away to Mile Oak. The hosts took the lead through an own goal after half-an-hour and although Danny Leach quickly levelled, Oak led 2-1 at the break.

The Pirates equalised for a second time through Paul Richardson on the hour and hit the front on 68 minutes courtesy of Jamie Salvidge. Oak made it 3-3 on 74 minutes, though, and won it seven minutes later.