A 90th minute goal from Sammy Foulkes gave Rye Town Football Club a 3-2 win at home to Hawkhurst United on Saturday.
Victory for Rye in a game where they had seen a two-goal lead cancelled out meant they consolidated third place in the Macron East Sussex Football League Premier Division.
The very strong wind made it a bit of a game of two halves on a Salts pitch which was pretty good considering the bad weather.
Rye played with the elements in their favour during the first half, but manager Shane Ridgers felt the wind was more of a hindrance than a help as a number of passes got caught by the wind.
They nonetheless went ahead after 15 minutes through a bit of a lucky break. A poor cross ricocheted off a Hawkhurst defender and went in for an own goal.
Rye doubled their advantage three minutes later. Richard ‘Alfie’ Weller was in the right place at the right time to continue his remarkable scoring run with a close range finish.
Rye bossed the first half and Ridgers felt they ought to have been further in front by the break. The closest they came to another goal was when Charlie Stevens, who worked his socks off up-front, smashed a free kick against the crossbar.
It was a different story in the second half, though, as Hawkhurst went long to their big centre-forward and caused Rye problems. They pulled one back in the 48th minute and equalised 12 minutes later, with Rye outmuscled from long balls on both occasions.
Rye were under the cosh for much of the second half, but Hawkhurst had to play the last 15 minutes with 10 men after their former Hastings United defender Richard Bolton took a nasty knock to the face and had to go off.
With the extra man, Rye started to get on top and Foulkes popped up in the box to slam home the winner, preserving their 100 percent home record to boot.
Foulkes was the Pikes Cleaning man of the match and the game was sponsored by Rye Gardening Services. Sam Cooper also played well, as did substitute Craig Pierce.
Rye paid their respects to Bernard Osborn, a long-time Rye United/Town supporter, with a minute’s silence before kick-off and the wearing of black armbands. Ridgers said the thoughts of himself, his wife Charmaine and all at the club are with the Osborn family.
Rye: Ramsden; Osborne, Henham (Pierce), Willis; Cooper, Foulkes, Skinner, Brain, Richardson (Fraser); Stevens, Weller. Subs not used: Clement, Heffernan, Ball.
Up next for Rye is a trip to unbeaten league leaders Hollington United tomorrow (Saturday), kick-off 3pm. The match is sponsored by Rye Performance & Motorsport.
Ridgers says Rye will need to step up a level and believes they will. He’s expecting a tight game.
Cooper, who has dual registered at Rye with AFC Uckfield Town, is expected to be back with his parent club and Sam Henham is an injury concern having come off against Hawkhurst with a hamstring problem.
Rye Town’s upcoming fixtures (league unless stated): tomorrow Hollington United (a) 3pm, November 4 Robertsbridge United (a) 2pm, November 11 St Leonards Social (h) 2pm, November 18 Hastings Rangers (h) Premier Travel Challenge Cup 2nd round 1.30pm.