Since we last reviewed the Barrowmens form two weeks ago the team have been in action twice. Two weeks ago they hosted Eastbourne Town and were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline and then last week Town travelled to an inform Bexhill United and put in a much improved performance coming away with a 2-0 victory in pretty tricky conditions.
Here is the goal from Bexhill …..
— Steyning Town FC ⚽ (@SteyningTown) February 19, 2023
Take a bow Ryan Hallett!
The home game with Eastbourne Town, if we are honest, was a big disappointment. With a decent crowd of 125 coming through the gate the game looked well teed up to be a cracker. The two team were close together in the league, both knowing there was little room for error from here on in if they wanted to keep in touch with the leaders. Town conceded two pretty sloppy goals in the first half, and despite their best endevours they never really seriously looked like they were going to get back in to the game. Eastbourne were excellent defensively, keeping a really disciplined shaped when out of possession ,and the front two were lively and defence our defence on their toes all afternoon. The game was also marred by a nasty knee injury to Grant Radmore in the first half. Grant collapsed to the floor when nowhere near the ball and ligament damage in the knee is the outcome. He will be out for quite some time and we wish him well.
Off the back of this disappointing performance Kev and the team again strengthened the squad by dual signing experienced centre back Nathan Cooper with Whitehawk FC. Cooper has struggled with game time recently after suspension so hopefully this is a situation that will help both parties.
Cooper went straight in to the starting line up for last weekends game with Bexhill and immediately his quality and experience was pretty evident. Although not really that busy all afternoon he slotted in superb alongside Da Costa and Gballou Lida and organised the players around him really well. Aside from a couple of half chances in the first half and a strike from distance in the second half, Bexhill never really threatened the Town goal all afternoon.
Town played with a stiff breeze behind them in the first half and although having the lions share of the game they never really looked like scoring until Hallett stunned everyone with a corker from inside his own half. Zamani in the Bexhill goal saw his rather weak goal kick struck back past him by Hallett and the keeper could only watch in vain as the ball sailed over his head and in to the goal. Shades of Beckham v Wimbledon years ago.
Town came out for the second half clearly still buoyed by the opening goal and it didn’t take long for Johnson-Fisher to start causing havoc. He made numerous direct runs in the half through the hear of the hosts defence, and from one of these on the hour he raced clear in to the box and squared the ball for Langford to roll home. 2-0 and in control. And in actual fact we stayed in control and got stronger as the half went on. Gballou Lida made a number of great runs from the back and subs El-Hage, Rondle and Radley-Martin added extra legs to the midfield who had all done a great job before them. Howell, Downer and Howick in particular worked their socks off in that engine room to create the platform for the rest and making light of the fact that skipper Barnes was absent for the game. Out wide Hallett and Clark had very solid games.
More of that required in our next game with our friends from AFC Varndeanians on Saturday at home at 3pm. Still so much to play for this season and certainly lots to look forward to. Well done lads.
Squad v Eastbourne Town: Lucas, Downer, Gballou Lida, Hallett, Howell, Howick, Johnson-Fisher, Langford, Radmore, Rondel, Barnes Subs used Maguire, Meehan, Potten, Radley-Martin, Robinson
Squad v Bexhill United: Lucas, Downer, Gballou Lida, Cooper, Da Costa, Hallett, Howell, Howick, Johnson-Fisher, Langford, Clarke Subs used Meehan, Rondel, Radley-Martin, El-Hage, Robinson