David Pugh continued his rich vein of goalscoring form with a hat-trick as Westfield’s footballers celebrated their first league win in nearly two months.
The Westies produced a dominant second half performance to turn a 1-0 half time deficit into a 4-2 win at home to Steyning Town yesterday (Saturday), with Pugh taking his goal tally to 12 in 11 games.
Despite losing defender Steve Thomson to injury, Westfield forced three good saves from Steyning goalkeeper Aaron Jeal in the first 20 minutes of the Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two fixture.
Pugh was first to be denied after doing well to work space for his shot, Andy Hales then had a crisply struck volley repelled and Jeal used his feet to thwart Curtis Coombes following a good ball by Sam Willett.
Steyning grew increasingly into the game as the first half progressed and opened the scoring in the 37th minute. Rob Clark got away through the inside left channel and pulled the ball back for Chad Milner to score.
Westfield went close before the break when Matt Dadswell couldn’t quite turn home Pugh’s ball across goal, but three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half swung the match firmly in the home side’s favour.
Willett exchanged passes with Pugh before rolling home his 10th of the season to make it 1-1 in the 48th minute and Pugh then volleyed right across the face of goal from Lawrence Brand’s centre.
Pugh put Westfield ahead in the 56th minute by controlling a Hales cross from the right and picking out the bottom corner with a shot which seemed to take a slight deflection.
After a firm drive from Hales was well-saved by Jeal, Pugh made it 3-1 on the hour with a lovely lofted finish over the goalkeeper following an equally good ball over the top from Coombes.
Jeal parried Willett’s overhead kick and Dadswell was unable to turn home the loose ball before Pugh added Westfield’s fourth in the 77th minute. Willett played a decent ball over the top and Pugh completed his hat-trick with the aid of a significant deflection.
Pugh might well have scored his fourth and Westfield’s fifth moments later, but after latching on to a fine ball from young substitute Jack Whiteman and stepping inside the last defender, he fired over with just Jeal to beat.
Steyning nabbed a consolation in the 89th minute when Clark went through and buried an accurate left-foot shot into the bottom corner, but it was too late to affect the outcome.
Westfield: Holland, Thomson (Bell 13), Williams, Archer, Warren, Dadswell, Brand, Willett (Booth 84), Hales, Pugh, Coombes (Whiteman 78). Subs not used: Discala, Payne.
Standings (played-points): 1 Worthing United 12-30, 2 Wick & Barnham United 11-25, 3 AFC Uckfield 14-25, 4 BEXHILL UNITED 13-25, 5 Oakwood 12-23, 6 LITTLE COMMON 13-20, 7 Mile Oak 12-18, 8 Steyning Town 12-18, 9 Haywards Heath Town 12-18, 10 Rustington 13-16, 11 WESTFIELD 12-14, 12 Midhurst & Easebourne 11-13, 13 Storrington 13-10, 14 Saltdean United 11-8, 15 Seaford Town 13-0.