Steyning Town 1 Loxwood 3
After last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with in-form Crowborough, we came into Tuesday night’s fixture at home to Loxwood very hopeful of taking all three points against the side immediately below us in the table. But alas, it was not to be as we crashed to a 3-1 defeat.
From Saturday’s line-up there were several changes with Jack Barnes returning from suspension and Dan Geal, Charlie Robinson and Maykol Sabino also coming into the side. Ryan Timms and Cal Chalmers dropped to the bench with Grant Radmore sidelined due to injury.
On a very pleasant evening at the Birchwood Shooting Field, but considerably cooler than of late, the game started end-to-end with both sides asking questions. However, we were the dominant side and looked the more likely to score and on 25 minutes Ramon Santos hit the side netting from close range after some good work by Sabino and minutes later it was Santos again who rattled the Magpies crossbar with a well struck free kick from just outside their box.
At one stage we had the ball in their net, but it was disallowed for offside. The visitors indeed also had their moments with former Town frontman George Cousins always a lurking threat.
The second half was very disappointing as we capitulated. Six minutes in, George Cousins fired Loxwood in front with a well taken goal and two more goals for the Magpies followed in the next ten minutes effectively putting the game beyond us.
We seemed to lose all our shape and cohesion and were additionally hampered by the loss of Sabino through injury and then the dismissal of sub Ryan Timms for a reckless tackle.
We used our full bench of subs to try and get back into the game and towards the end rediscovered some shape and creativity. A headed goal from sub Cal Chalmers gave us a fragment of hope but it was basically a case of too little, too late.
Yes, a very disappointing overall performance and again there are lessons to be learnt and the finer points to be looked at but it is still early days and a long way to go. Far too early to be too despondent.
Looking ahead, this Saturday (20th) there is no first team fixture.
Next up, it’s the FA Vase on Saturday 27th August and for us a home tie with fellow SCFL Premier Division side Little Common (KO @ Birchwood Shooting Field – 3pm).
Then on Tuesday 30th August it’s back to League action and a short trip up to Gorings Mead for an evening date with Horsham YMCA (KO 7:45pm).
Final score – Steyning Town 1 Loxwood 3
Town line up – Szendela-Goetzke, Hallett (Timms), Clark, Geal, Da Costa, Robinson, Rondel (Kirkpatrick), Barnes (capt), Santos (Sirjani), Radley-Martin (Donner), Sabino (Chalmers).
Report by Dave Perrett.