Last gasp strike salvages point

Sam Willett converted a last minute penalty to earn Westfield a 2-2 draw at home to Rustington on Saturday
Sam Willett converted a last minute penalty to earn Westfield a 2-2 draw at home to Rustington on Saturday

Westfield Football Club manager Jethro Warren felt his team had dropped two points rather than gained one despite scoring a last minute equaliser.

Sam Willett held his nerve to convert a penalty in the dying seconds and earn Westfield a 2-2 draw at home to Rustington in Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two on Saturday.

Warren said: “To be honest I thought it was two points dropped rather than a point gained. We created so many clearcut chances. We’ve really worked on getting us to play a bit of football, but in the right areas and Saturday we did that.”

Warren made five changes to the starting line-up from the previous weekend’s 3-0 loss at home to Wick & Barnham United, with Carl Morris, Ross Williams, Jamie Bell, and summer recruits Andy Hales and Danny Woodley coming in.

Westfield had already fashioned two or three good chances before opening the scoring. A decent build-up ended with Woodley heading against the underside of the crossbar and although the ball looked as though it had crossed the line, Woodley made sure with an overhead kick.

The hosts played some good football during the opening 35 minutes only to then switch off for the final 10 minutes of the first half, during which time they conceded twice as the game turned on its head.

Rustington equalised through a low shot by Regan Miles after Westfield failed to react quickly enough to a free kick which went into the wall and then took the lead shortly afterwards when the ball was pulled back for the unmarked Joseph Stakim to apply a simple, yet well-struck finish at the near post.

Westfield began the second half slowly, but after the first five minutes or so then got back to carving out opportunities, even if Rustington also had a few moments of their own as Westfield pushed forward.

It looked as though Warren might have to wait a little longer to pick up his first point as Westfield boss until a dramatic finish. Aaron Parris looked as though he was brought down in the box and although no penalty wasn’t given, the ball dropped to Tom Archer, who also went to ground and this time the referee did point to the spot, enabling Willett to score.

Westfield (4-2-3-1): Morris; Williams, Thomson, Seymour, Bell; Saunders (Booth), Henham; Parris, Hales, Willett; Woodley (Archer).