Bexhill United Football Club heads into its final home game of the season with its quest for a promotion place back in its own hands.
The Pirates remain third in Southern Combination League Division One, with the eventual champions and possibly the runners-up to be promoted (depending on points per game averages and complying with FA ground grading regulations).
Bexhill are now just three points behind leaders Alfold and two back of second-placed Steyning Town after Alfold drew and Steyning lost while Bexhill won 6-0 at Wick last weekend.
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“It puts everything back in our own hands,” said Bexhill manager Ryan Light. “From being a little bit adrift, but believing there would be another twist, it puts promotion in our own hands.”
All of the top three teams have five matches remaining and the third of Bexhill’s five is away to Steyning on Easter Saturday.
“We know that five wins will get us promoted,” continued Light. “That’s nice because we’re not relying on anyone else. It’s a case of taking each game as it comes and trying to tick them off. Everyone’s really buoyant and looking forward to the next five games.”
Bexhill will host sixth-placed Littlehampton Town today (Saturday) before contesting away matches against Midhurst & Easebourne, Steyning, Hailsham Town and Mile Oak.
“We’ve got a really tough game against Littlehampton on Saturday,” Light went on. “If we could come through that, then we visit Midhurst, who are down near the bottom.
“If we can get the two wins and go into the Steyning game with another six points in the bag, that will really be some afternoon.
“I think there will be another twist, I think there will be more points dropped as the nerves set in and it becomes crunch time.”
Bexhill are offering free admission to today’s game as a thank you to supporters for their backing over the season. Kick-off at The Polegrove is 3pm.
“You have to reward your loyal supporters,” added Light. “I think we’re sixth or seventh in attendance out of all the teams in the league and second in the division.
“The supporters have been phenomenal this year. Their vocal support and support in the clubhouse afterwards has really spurred us on. As a town they’ve really got behind us.”
Kion Parchmont is away in Cyprus for the next two games, so Georges Gouet will be included in today’s squad.
Southern Combination League Division One top half standings (played-points): 1 Alfold 27-65 (+46 goal difference), 2 Steyning Town 27-64 (+42), 3 BEXHILL UNITED 27-62 (+61), 4 AFC Varndeanians 26-55 (+31), 5 Selsey 28-54 (+28), 6 Littlehampton Town 27-41 (+4), 7 Hailsham Town 28-39 (+7), 8 Wick 27-36 (-13), 9 Sidlesham 28-34 (-13).
Remaining fixtures - Bexhill United: March 30 Littlehampton Town (h), April 6 Midhurst & Easebourne (a), April 20 Steyning Town (a), April 22 Hailsham Town (a), April 27 Mile Oak (a).
Alfold: March 30 Southwick (a), April 6 Sidlesham (h), April 20 Seaford Town (a), April 22 Billingshurst (h), April 27 Storrington (a).
Steyning Town: March 30 Hailsham Town (a), April 6 Southwick (h), April 20 Bexhill United (h), April 22 Worthing United (a), April 27 Littlehampton Town (a).