Westies target first league trophy in 20 years

Action from the league meeting between Westfield and Sidlesham at the start of last month. Picture by Justin Lycett
Action from the league meeting between Westfield and Sidlesham at the start of last month. Picture by Justin Lycett
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Westfield Football Club is aiming to clinch its first trophy in 20 years of playing in the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League.

The Westies will take on Sidlesham in the Division Two Challenge Cup final at Shoreham FC tonight (Tuesday). Kick-off is 7.45pm.

Westfield manager Jack Stapley said: “It would be really nice, especially for the people that do a lot of hard work behind the scenes, if we can get the win.”

Stapley believes Westfield will start as underdogs against a Sidlesham side which beat them 4-0 and 3-1 in the two league meetings between the clubs this season. Third-placed Sidlesham are three positions and 17 points above Westfield in the league table.

“We are the underdogs and they will have a lot of the ball I would’ve thought,” continued Stapley. “Both times we’ve played them we’ve been very under-strength and that might be to our favour as well.

“They might turn up and think they’ll roll us over, but with the likes of Saw Winter, Joe Dicken and Callum Smith being available for the final, we’re a completely different outfit.

“This lot (Westfield’s players) do believe they can win. There hasn’t been negatives about the final or about who we’re playing.”

Sidlesham hot shot Thomas Bayley has scored more league goals than anybody in the entire Southern Combination League this season, but Stapley believes that if Westfield can subdue him and Sidlesham’s midfield playmaker, they will have a good chance.

“Their centre-forward is a massive strength for them; he’s a very good player at this level,” Stapley went on. “In midfield, they’re like us, very competitive, but defensively they’re not fantastic and I think that’s an area we can get at them.”

Westfield’s boss described the 4-0 league win at home to Lancing United, achieved despite playing the vast majority of the match with 10 men, in their last outing 10 days ago as ‘a massive result’ ahead of the final.

“It was perfect to prove that we can be disciplined, hold our position and teams will find it hard to break us down,” Stapley added. “And we’ve got plenty of firepower going forward. You know you’re going to hurt teams when Sam (Ellis), Callum and Asher (Grindle) get on the ball.

“People like Liam Ward and Sam Winter were really disciplined in midfield to stop the attacks and turn the game on its head. I think that’s what we did against Lancing (United) in the semi-final and that’s what we’ll be trying to do again.”

Stapley says he is now just about settled on the make up of his side for the final and confirmed that striker Scott Ramsay will play in goal.

Elsewhere tonight, Macron East Sussex Football League champions Hollington United and runners-up Battle Baptists will go head-to-head in the league’s Premier Travel Challenge Cup final at Eastbourne Town FC. Kick-off is 7.30pm.

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