Easter Weekend Away Trips – Match Reports

7 goals scored. None conceded. 6 points in the bag. It was fair to say Easter weekend was a decent one for Steyning Town FC men’s first team in their promotion hunt.
The action for the team started wqith a tricky looking game away to Midhurst FC, who caused us plenty of problems in the reverse fixture earlier in the season when Town ran out narrow 2-1 winners. After heavy downpours in the week the Midhurst ground staff had done a great job in providing a decent playing surface. Town were still without the free scoring Chalaye in the starting eleven, but his return to take a place on the bench will have please everyone involved.
Steyning started off playing up the hill and started pretty slowly in all honesty as Midhurst we quicker and faster to the ball in midfield and were creating some pressure at the Town end, however not really able to create any chances of note. Town themsleves were playing fairly directly in the early stages but were conceding possession too easily, however they did fashion a decent opportunity that Radley-Martin slid wide of the post. However they didnt have to wait too long for an opener as Meehan was bundled over in the box. As per normal skipper Barnes stepped up and rifled home. Two minute later on 33 minutes there was a second goal as Meehan raced clear again and squared to Goldson for the most simple of finishes. Steyning could scarcely beleive they were 2 up after such a slow start. However Midhurst were clearly rattled and seemed to fully lose their heads as Meehan was bundled over yet again, following a Shooman strike against the post, and another penalty awarded. Barnes again fired home with confidence.
The second half continued in the same vein as the end of the first with Town now well on top and looking for more. On 47 minutes Radley-Martin thunded a 25 yarder again the crossbar before on 50 minutes the fourth goal came. A well worked move down the right by the impressive Weller, linking up with Meehan and Radley-Martin, and the final ball across the box found Goldson at the far post firing home for his second of the afternoon. Game over.
Goldson was clealy now hunting his hattrick as he clipped a clever near post chance over the keeper but it just droppe dover the bar. The Hosts were clearly sitting back on a bit of a damage limitation exercise. They did a pretty good job of that until the final minute as Barnes played in Shooman down the left channel and one on one with the keeper he cooly dinked it past him for a lovely finish. The icing on the cake from a good perforamce (except that first 20!!) and a tough looking fixture out of the way.
Bank holiday Monday morning saw Town travel down the road to local rovals Shoreham FC. Only one change to the starting eleven from Saturday as Fuller came in to the side and Francis, carrying a small knock dropped to  to the bench. What played out over the next 90 minutes was quite a bizarre 90 minutes of football. Town dominated for long periods however Shoreham sat in and defended well across midfield and the back four. A goal on 13 minutes was a good reward for Town’s fast start. Radley- Martin played a cute pass round the corner on the edge of the box and Shooman raced on to his pass and fired home with a crisp strike in to the bottom left hand corner. After the goal the whole Town team seemed to go flat. Poor passing, miscontrolling and slow play, along with a rather pedantic referreeing display all added to frustration as the half wore on. Shoreham certainly senses a bit of uneasiness in the Town ranks and Lucas pulled off a cracking save from a 25 yarder and then Diallo seemed certain to equalise with a header from point blank range with the goal gaping, but incredibly he miss the ball alltogether when it seemed easier to score. Half time 1-0 but very much game on.
The second half was another tesnse a slightly frustrating affair as Shoreham thwarted much of which Steyning threw at them. Their biggest chance of the half fell to ex Barrowman Max Howell with 20 minutes to go as he hit a thumping strike from a low cross and Lucas pulled off a sensational diving, instinctive save that drew applause and disbelief in equal measure from all sides of the ground. A truly stunning save. Minutes later, on 78 minutes, Town made the most of this let off as a Francis corner was headed goalwards by Nathan Cooper and the other Nathan, Nathan Da Costa, his centre back partner, was there to nod home from close range. 2-0 and surely the points in the bag. Chalaye was now on the pitch and was shortly after denied a comeback goal by a strong save by Mendonca at the near post.
There was still time for some more action as Street for Shoreham was red carded for a crude high tackle on Fuller leaving a very nasty gash all down his shin, and in the melee that followed two other Shoreham players were sin binned, including the keeper, which meant Magic Mayckol Sabino went in the sticks for the final 10 minutes. There was still time for a further bizarre twist as Shooman was also sin binned for Town after a spectator gave the referee a piece of his mind. He clearly thought this came form the Town man, which it didn’t, which meant the last ten minutes were playing out in a farcical 10 v 8 match where neither side really seemed interested to put in much effort as Town passed the ball around the back four and midfield pretty unopposed. A strange end of a rather strange game where a comfortable win could easily have been something else if it hadn’t been for a couple of stunning saves from the Town No1.
The two wins leaves us top of the table, however there is a juicy situation where ourselves, Crowborough and Newhaven can all win the league if they win their remaining games.
Next up is Saltdean FC at home on Saturday.
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