AFC Uckfield kick off with 4-0 win and draw at Eastbourne Town

AFC Uckfield began their 2022-23 SCFL premier season at home in front of a crowd of 98 at the Oaks, with a comfortable 4-0 win over AFC Varndeanians setting the team in good stead for the rest of the season.

It was an exciting affair at the Oaks, with both teams having plenty of chances – but it was Varndeanians who had ample opportunities early on to open the scoring.

It was Uckfield who opened the scoring through fan favourite Ellis Wright in the 34th minute after a direct passage of play starting from Oaks keeper Nathaniel Gibb and ending with Wright curling the ball into the top right corner.

The goal was against the run of play and completely flipped the game in the Oaks’ favour, with Wright scoring just two minutes later with a curling free-kick into the same top corner, barely giving the opposition a chance to reply to the opener.

AFC Uckfield after their first-day win | Picture: Michelle Wallis

As the second half began, Uckfield found themselves in the driving seat as they looked to push on to secure the opening three points.

In the 55th minute, midfielder Nick Parsons was on the receiving end of a poor challenge which resulted in a free-kick to the home team.

Jamie Blackford whipped in the cross before the ball was subsequently smashed into a Varndean defender’s hand, with the referee pointing to the spot. Captain Ed Sharman fired Uckfield’s third into the bottom corner.

As the game began to drew to a close, the Varndeanians defence was left vulnerable as chances came thick. Wright was denied his third of the game by a superb stop from the keeper in the 77th minute.

As the Oakmen looked to see out the game, midfield maestro Parsons was hit with a nasty looking injury, with the No8 having to be carried off the pitch and replaced by Zac Bignell.

He had an instant impact off the bench, with darting runs on the left wing proving difficult to manage for the Varndeanians defence.

There were a few close offside calls but after switching to the right flank, he created even more dangerous opportunities.

In the 90th minute, Tyler Pearson made way for young starlet Zead Elwerfally with the game looking to be done and dusted.

Bignell made a darting run on the right wing, cutting it back to Sharman, whose shot deflected nicely to Elwerfally for the youngster’s first goal of the season to make it 4-0 in the 91st minute.

This was a successful runout for the Oakmen, now managed by Jonny Elwood.

In midweek Uckfield drew 1-1 at Eastbourne Town.

Uckfield took the lead midway through the second half with a lovely finish into the top corner. There was nothing home keeper Chris Winterton could do about the excellent strike. Town’s Lloyd Cotton and manager Jude Macdonald were sent off as the game got feisty.

Town earned a penalty in the last minute through Leke Ademola’s quick feet drawing a foul in the box. Up stepped Anesu Sisimayi to slot it home.

The Oakmen host SCFL premier rivals Midhurst & Easebourne in the FA Cup tomorrow.