On a bright & sunny (yes really!) yet quite breezy afternoon at the Birchwood, and in front of a decent size crowd, the new-look Town side was the quicker off the blocks and on 12 minutes a precision left wing cross from new signing Harry Shooman found Joe Radley-Martin unmarked at the near post who headed powerfully home to give us an early lead.
The goal galvanised us and minutes later a free kick from another new signing Sam Remfry had Pirates former Town keeper Stephanos at full stretch. With skipper Jack Barnes driving things well in central midfield each time we attacked we looked like scoring and Charlie Meehan was very unlucky, just striking their upright with a low drive. After early one way traffic the visitors eventually got into the match and started creating chances of their own, however we worked hard at the back to contain them, with Ross Edwards heading a wind assisted in swinging corner off the line. Both sides had valid penalty appeals turned down, us for hand ball and them for a foul.
Half Time 1-0 to us but should have been more.
The second half started with the visitors looking sharper and five minutes in, a bullet header from Pirates frontman Jack Stone shot wide of Lucas to level the score. We regrouped and tried to press and Meehan was unlucky shooting just wide after a strong run in from the left.
A long range attempt from Rob Clark cannoned back off their crossbar and barely a minute later we were back in front when Meehan jinked into their box to slip the ball inside the far post for 2-1. Our sprit restored, after a powerful drive from Shooman was well saved and Meehan hit another long range attempt just over the top we went further ahead when a low cross in from debutant sub Mark Goldson deflected in off a Pirates defender. 3-1.
Yes, a very promising start to the new season with a good solid team performance and all the debutants making their mark.
Man-of-the-match Charlie Meehan
Next up – next Saturday we are in FA Cup action with a trip up to South London to face Balham FC of the Combined Counties Premier Division. Venue = Mayfield Stadium, Thornton Heath CR7 6DN (KO 3pm)
Final Score – Steyning Town 3 Bexhill United 1
Town line up – SzendelaGoetzke, Da Costa, Clark, Barnes (c), Cooper, Edwards, Remfry, Meehan (Leahy), Francis (Goldson), Radley-Martin (Hallet), Shooman (Olladouun) Unused – Rondal