Bexhill United’s footballers suffered a second successive 1-0 defeat at home to bottom four opposition yesterday (Saturday).
The Pirates were below par as they were deservedly beaten by Sidlesham in a Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One fixture which won’t live too long in the memory.
The all-important goal came after 26 minutes. A free kick from Sidlesham’s right was nodded down for the impressive Tom Bayley to drive past Bexhill goalkeeper Adam Osborne with his left foot.
Sidlesham probably had slightly more of the play during the first half as a whole, although Bexhill had more attempts at goal. Bayley, who was a thorn in Bexhill’s side throughout, was denied by a good save from home goalkeeper Adam Osborne after dispossessing Dan Cruikshank in the box and later had the ball in the net with a cracking strike from just outside the D, but the flag was already up.
At the other end, Mark Blanche’s driven free kick was straight at goalkeeper Connor Kelly and Bexhill had a confident penalty appeal turned down when Kevin Barden was felled by Kelly. Marc Munday’s far post header from a Josh Elliott-Noye free kick was scrambled aside by Kelly and Jacob Shelton drove just over from the resulting corner.
After the goal, Blanche’s 25-yard strike was well held by Kelly and there was a decent chance for Gordon Cuddington, whose header from Aaron Tudor’s long free kick went straight at the goalkeeper.
On a grey and blustery afternoon, Sidlesham looked in command after half time and threatened to extend their advantage. Tom Jefkins teed himself up for a volley which flew just wide before Bayley fired into the side-netting having got in between Munday and Cruikshank.
Bayley blasted wide of the far post from an acute angle following good work by Tom Jefkins and Joe Leggatt’s free kick from the left-hand touchline dropped just wide.
Bexhill started to spend a bit more time in Sidlesham territory after pushing Munday forward to give the attack a much-needed aerial threat, but in truth an equaliser never looked likely. Dan Bassil came close to a second for Sidlesham when his far post header at the end of a counter-attack was deflected wide off Brad Freeman.
Bexhill: Osborne, A. Tudor (Freeman 69), Rayner (Mole 80), Elliott-Noye, Cruikshank, Blanche, Wheeler, Cuddington, Shelton, Munday, Barden. Sub not used: Penney.
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