Bexhill reflect on another big week - on and off pitch

It’s been another great week for Bexhill United – on and off the pitch.

Bexhill United are having a fine SCFL premier season / Picture: Joe Knight
Bexhill United are having a fine SCFL premier season / Picture: Joe Knight

Bexhill College have become the Pirates’ main shirt sponsor until 2023.

And the team moved into the top three in the SCFL premier division with a 2-0 away win over AFC Varndeanians.

The sponsorship agreement means the college logo will appear on the front of the first-team shirts – and will also see the start of a closer working relationship between the college and the football club as it enters its centenary season.

Sean Noble, Bexhill College football academy manager, said: “It brings great pleasure to be able to work closely with our local football club which over the years has seen many students represent them at various age groups.

“We take great pride in seeing former students such as Dale Penn, Nathan Lopez, Corey Wheeler and Kyle Holden performing regularly for the club and we hope this pattern continues with current football academy member Shay Hollobone, a regular in the first team squad.

“We hope with the development of a closer working relationship with the football club, we can continue to offer realistic and valuable progression pathways for our students in both a playing and employment context.”

United manager Ryan Light said: “Everyone is really excited to have Bexhill College on board as the club’s new main sponsor.

“I would personally like to thank them for their support. We’re looking forward to working alongside them on a variety of projects that will give educational and football opportunities to the young players at our club.”

Bexhill United chairman Graham Cox added: “Bexhill United has a proud youth set-up and this partnership with Bexhill College is an amazing opportunity to support pathways for our many up-and-coming young boys and girls at the club.

“All at Bexhill United are looking forward to working with representatives from Bexhill College for the benefit of the young people and the wider community of Bexhill and surrounding areas.”

The sponsorship agreement will run alongside and complement the college football academy’s current associations with both the Chelsea FC Foundation and Eastbourne Borough FC.

Meanwhile on the pitch, United’s fine season continued with a win at Varndeanians.

In a game that was made difficult for both teams by strong winds, it was a fairly even first half with Bexhill playing against the wind.

In the second half United found a bit more rhythm to their play and got the breakthrough after a cleared corner was delivered back into the box by Bradley Pritchard. Lewis McGuigan, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, rose highest at the back post to head in.

Five minutes later Bexhill doubled their lead when a determined Evan Archibald forced the ball home from close range.

In the final 10 minutes gaps started to appear in the previously well-organised Varndeanians defence but Bexhill were unable to add a third, despite a plethora of good chances.

Light said: “With the weather conditions like they were, it was important that we didn’t become frustrated.

“The wind played a huge part in the game. I’m pleased we stuck to the task and showed a level of maturity and patience to claim another important three points.”

Light’s men aim to continue their superb form at home to Eastbourne United – who are also going well – tomorrow.

Bexhill have been drawn at home to Isthmian premier division Bognor Regis Town in the last 16 of the Sussex Senior Cup.

Bognor are the current holders. They won the trophy in 2019 and the competition has not been completed in either of the past two seasons.

The game will take place on Wednesday, December 15 (7.30pm) at the Polegrove.

Light said: “We are delighted with the draw, it’s a free hit for us.

“We played behind closed doors vs Brighton & Hove Albion at this stage last season which took the shine off of the game a little.

“But this year supporters are back and I’m sure the Polegrove will be rocking.

“Bognor will obviously be huge favourites, but we don’t fear anyone, especially at home and we’ll be giving it our best shot.