Four-star win lifts Bexhill into top two

Jack Shonk took his goal tally for the season to 18 with a brace in Bexhill United's 4-0 win away to St Francis Rangers
Jack Shonk took his goal tally for the season to 18 with a brace in Bexhill United's 4-0 win away to St Francis Rangers

Bexhill United manager Ryan Light praised ‘one of the best footballing displays’ as the Pirates went second in the table.

A brace of Jack Shonk goals, and one apiece from Jack McLean and Sammy Bunn gave Bexhill a 4-0 win away to St Francis Rangers in Southern Combination League Division One on Saturday.

Light said: “It’s not always the easiest pitch to play on, but from almost start to finish it was one of the best we’ve passed the ball. We passed and passed, and really did move the ball well. We were really brave in possession, everything was short and it was a really good footballing display.”

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A pattern developed quite early on where Bexhill enjoyed lots of possession and St Francis put plenty of bodies around their box in an attempt to contain. When St Francis did get the ball, they went long to their pacey number nine, who didn’t make life easy for Bexhill’s central defenders.

Bexhill were getting in behind St Francis almost at will, but the home goalkeeper was proving tough to beat. He stopped one close range effort from Jack McLean and somehow plucked out a fantastic 20-yard strike by Bunn which seemed to be heading for the top corner.

McLean eventually made the breakthrough when he went round a home defender, cut in and finished like he usually does.

Bexhill survived a bit of a scare towards the end of the first half as St Francis hit the post following a bit of a scramble in the box.

St Francis then forced a succession of corners, but Bexhill broke from the last of them and McLean ran almost the length of the pitch with the ball at his feet and passed to Lopez, whose shot struck the crossbar.

Having had around 15 shots on target during the opening 45 minutes, Bexhill doubled their advantage fairly early in the second period. McLean again did well on the left and after his cross was half blocked, Shonk reacted quickest to force the ball home at the near post.

That goal seemed to really settle Bexhill down and their passing became a joy to watch. McLean was giving the home right-back a torrid time and was firing off shot after shot.

Bexhill went three-up through a neat finish by Bunn following good work from Shonk on the right.

The fourth goal was a typical Shonk goal as he beat his man on the right, came inside and struck a rocket of a shot which flew into the bottom corner.

“No disrespect to St Francis, but it really probably should’ve been double figures,” added Light. “I know we’ve hit seven and eight (in previous games) and it was a similar day to that. 4-0 flattered St Francis.”

Bexhill: Rose; Rea (Ottley), McGuigan, McFarlane, Lopez; Holden, J. Bunn, S. Bunn (Cuddington); Shonk, Giles (Greenall), McLean.

Southern Combination League Division One top half standings (played 10 matches unless stated): 1 AFC Varndeanians 28pts (+22 goal difference), 2 BEXHILL UNITED 22 (+27), 3 Alfold 22 (+16), 4 Steyning Town (9) 21 (+13), 5 Hailsham Town 19 (+15), 6 Wick (9) 18 (+2), 7 Seaford Town 18 (+1), 8 Selsey 15 (+4), 9 Storrington 14 (-6).