Dunk makes up for lost time as Peacehaven make Selsey pay the penalty

A SURVEY this week revealed that Britons are on average 19 years behind shedule for their life plan. Whilst things may not be that extreme for Carl Dunk, he is at last making up for last time and becoming the player Peacehaven signed in 2009, writes Alex Panton.

Dunk was Peacehaven’s biggest signing in their first year back in Division One, but two years of injuries seemed to have put paid to his prospects at the club. This season, however, he has reinvented himself as a midfielder, and, after a slow start, has become perhaps the pivotal player in the side.

Dunk has been one of the few constants in a season of at times baffling change at the club, and has clearly grown in confidence as the season has progressed.

Though he is not always on the same wavelength as some of his team mates, and can sometimes be a frustrating player to watch, he is at last beginning to reward the faith his club, and particularly his manager Sean Saunders, have shown in him with increasingly influential performances.

He scored twice on Saturday, in Peacehaven’s fifth successive league win, which took his side up to fifth in the league.

Peacehaven themselves are probably now a year behind their schedule after a difficult season, but at least they are finishing strongly.

Their victory was more comfortable than the scoreline would suggest, with erratic finishing and eccentric refereeing conspiring to keep Selsey in the match.

It was no surprise that the unseasonably warm weather experienced during the week failed to permeate Piddinghoe Avenue, which remained as inhospitable as ever.

Selsey, meanwhile, had somehow managed to cobble together enough fuel to make the long journey east.

It was a match which had failed to grip the public’s imagination, as a sparse crowd watched a scrappy contest.

Haven made the better start, with Dunk and Matt Fleming both spurning opportunities.

But they edged in front when Ashley Rees was brought down and Dunk hit his third successive successful penalty.

Selsey were given an unexpected and somewhat undeserved lifeline just before half time when Craig Hall was judged to have impeded an attacker in mid-air, and Graham Bush tucked in the second penalty of the afternoon.

The home side struggled to regain the initiative in the second half, and it took the arrival of Ryan Bradley and Brad Murray to pep up a lacklustre attack.

They started to build up the pressure, but it took a slice of good fortune to give them the three points.

Dunk’s speculative shot appeared to be drifting wide, only for a gust of wind to whip it into the top corner.

It was a perfect example of the recent change of fortunes for both player and club and it was the decisive moment in the match.

HAVEN: Heyburn, Hall, Hill, Fleming (Murray), Millis, Kneller, O’Toole, Dunk, Rees, Levitt (Bradley), Dudson.