Peacehaven hammered Sussex rivals Worthing 4-0 last night to claim their first ever victory in the Ryman League.
The three points, to go with Peacehaven’s point against Walton & Hersham in their first ever game in the Isthmian League on Saturday, means Shaun Saunders’ men are now sitting in a lofty fourth place in the Ryman South table after two games.
The visitors to Woodside Road dominated the early stages and were 2-0 up by half time. They then added a third just before the hour mark and rounded off the rout with a fourth in second half injury-time.
Despite resilient Worthing defending – and two Tye goals ruled out for offside – Peacehaven’s pressure finally told on 32 minutes when John Lansdale’s clearance hit Charlie Walker. A panicked Lansdale then clumsily bundled over the Peacehaven striker, prompting referee Casimir Nzenga pointing to the penalty spot. Walker sent Rebels keeper Simon Lehkyj the wrong way to give Peacehaven the lead.
Worthing had a penalty shout of their own waved away five minutes later when Freddie Barker went down under Magpie attention. And the hosts were left to rue that a few seconds later when Peacehaven doubled their advantage on 39 minutes, Tom Burton heading home an inswinging Joe Dryer free kick from the right.
Mark Knee, in Worthing’s defence, had been booked for bringing down Jamie Brotherton to concede the freek kick that led to the goal – with Worthing players then claiming that Brotherton had handled the ball before it had crossed the line for the goal, although the officials awarded it after a brief discussion and it did look as though the ball had already gone over the line.
The hosts’ best chances in a half won by the visitors fell to lively left-winger Chris O’Flaherty, although Worthing’s Will Berry did have a header cleared off the line on 14 minutes.
The second half started at a slightly slower pace than the first but it wasn’t too long before the pressure began to mount again. And the game was all but finished when, 13 minutes in, ex-Rebel Tom Lawley nodded home from close range after Lehkyj had parried Burton’s shot on the turn. The move featured some good build-up play from both Burton and Walker.
Peacehaven added a fourth in injury-time when second half substitute Trevor McCreadie blasted home after his first shot, having rounded the keeper, had been cleared off the line.
A delighted message on the Peacehaven website said: “If anyone had said in July that after two games you’d have four points, be fourth and have a goal difference of plus four, we’d have bitten your arm off but here we are.
“Next on Saturday Peacehaven travel to Leatherhead. This will be a big test for the boys and we’ll enjoy seeing how it goes.”
In the Sussex County League last (Tuesday) night, a Ryan Walton hat-trick ensured Saltdean United bounced back from their opening day 5-0 defeat at home to Loxwood on Saturday.
Wayne Smith’s men battered Rustington 6-2 in the John O’Hara League Cup first round. with the goals coming from Tom Roberts (7 and 78 mins), Ryan Walton (31, 75 81) and Luke Duchossoy (33), before Rustington hit back with a couple of late goals from James Bennett (81) and Alex Maciver (86).
Hailsham Town were unhappy with refereeing decisions after falling to a 3-1 defeat away to Dorking Wanderers in county league division 1, and Ringmer also lost, going down 2-1 at Horsham YMCA.
Newhaven host Rye United in the only game taking place in the county league tonight, in a division 1 fixture.
WORTHING: Lehkyj; Piper, Cooke, Lansdale, Knee; Skinner, Berry, Gedling, O’Flaherty; Barker, Foreman. Subs: Hayward (Piper 20), Daniel, Whyte (Skinner, Foreman 59), Pulling, Fagan.
MAGPIES: Di Bernardo; Metcalf, Richards, Jones, Dryer; Brotherton (Akehurst 74), Cotton (McLaughlin 78), Burton, Jones, Lawley; Walker (McCreadie 64). Subs not used: Millis.