Hailsham and Arundel share SCFL spoils

Hailsham Town drew 1-1 with Arundel in a game that saw both sides battling hard on a pleasant autumnal afternoon.

Match sponsors Steve and Alun Thomas present the man of the match award to Hailsham Town's Wester Young
Match sponsors Steve and Alun Thomas present the man of the match award to Hailsham Town's Wester Young

After the opening exchanges were fairly even, it was the visitors who took the lead on 9 minutes through Ollie Hawkins, who saw a shot go in off the post after a break down the left. Hailsham grew into the game, with Ellis Webster shooting wide on 19, before Adam Madelin shot over from the angle a minute later.

The visitors had a shot blocked from a free kick, but on 28 Madelin came very close to an equaliser, with a powerful strike turned over the bar. Hailsham were now in the ascendancy, and after a header from Jack Grey looped over, and debutant Luyolo Mafu had been denied by a fine saving challenge, the Stringers levelled on 43 when Grey's superb cross was powerfully met by a bullet Connor Townsend header.

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Hailsham started the second period brightly, with Sammy Townsend heading just over, and Mafu shooting wide on the turn after a terrific run from Connor Townsend, but needed a fine save from Wester Young to deny the visitors after a quick break on 55. James Ayling's free kick from range for Arundel would graze the bar on the hour, with both sides trading spells of dominance.

Hailsham would be presented with a fine opportunity on 79 with a foul on Mafu giving Charlie Playford a shooting chance, with a free kick that was tipped over, the resulting corner then headed against the crossbar. Arundel continued to probe, with Young again making a smart save on 84, with Hailsham then very close themselves to a winner at the death - sub Pat Johnson doing very well to win the ball and set up a quick break, with Mafu lifting the ball over the advancing 'keeper, but into the side netting.

The draw leaves Hailsham 16th and Arundel 14th.

The Stringers go to Shoreham on Tuesday (7.45pm), and have a Saturday off next week, as the planned trip to Dorking Wanderers Reserves is off due to Dorking Wanderers Firsts having a home draw in the FA Cup. Hailsham Town Under 18s are in action tomorrow (Sunday 10th, 11am) against Chichester City in the U18 Cup, whilst the Under 23's host Shoreham on Wednesday (7.30pm).

Stringers: Young, Madelin (Masterson-Pipet 55), Grey, S Pout (Johnson 83), Thomsett, Guest, Webster (Sparks 74), Playford, Mafu, C Townsend, S Townsend. Unused: McDonald, Feasey

Sponsors Man of the Match: Wester Young (Sponsored by Andrew Hazelden)