Westies pipped in 7-goal thriller

Oakwood's Toby Gilbert scores one of his two goals against Westfield on Saturday. Picture by Jon Rigby
Oakwood's Toby Gilbert scores one of his two goals against Westfield on Saturday. Picture by Jon Rigby

Westfield’s footballers almost salvaged what would have been the unlikeliest of points from a remarkable game on Saturday.

The Westies were eventually edged out 4-3 away to Oakwood in Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two after mounting a valiant comeback from 4-0 down at half time.

Westfield manager Jethro Warren said: “In the end I was quite disappointed not to get at least a point out of it. For the last hour I couldn’t fault anyone; their workrate and commitment were fantastic.”

The visitors actually started well in the first few minutes until falling behind when goalkeeper Carl Morris was beaten by a Tom Lyons shot at his near post.

Although Westfield were unbeaten in the league since the opening day, heads seemed to drop after that and they were three-down inside 20 minutes and four behind after 35.

Warren felt all the goals were poor from a defensive standpoint as unmarked Oakwood players on the edge of the box gobbled up Westfield clearances. Lyons grabbed his second and Toby Gilbert also bagged a brace.

Westfield had two or three decent chances of their own before the break and after assistant manager Mark Smith tore into them at half time, they started to make them count after the restart.

Roberto Martellini pulled one back by tapping home his second goal in successive games and Matt Dadswell made it 4-2 with a shot under the goalkeeper from 10 yards following a ball across the box.

David Pugh got Westfield within one around 10 minutes from time courtesy of a good header from Terry Payne’s left wing cross. A nervous Oakwood put everyone behind the ball in the closing stages and held on for their fourth win in six league games.

“We could’ve won the game easily,” added Warren. “We were camped in their half and their manager said ‘I don’t know how you’ve not got something out of that’.”

Westfield: Morris: Williams, Archer, Warren, Bell; Martellini (Saunders), Brand, Dadswell (J. Booth), Willett; Pugh, Payne. Sub not used: Seymour.