Hailsham unlucky at Selsey - then chalk up win over Worthing Utd

Hailsham slipped to a single-goal defeat at Selsey but triumphed 2-1 at home to Worthing United in a busy weekend of SCFL division one action.

Hailsham Town's 21-22 squad
Hailsham Town's 21-22 squad

A young Hailsham Town side made the longest trip of the season to Selsey on Saturday afternoon with several players unavailable, and almost came away with their first point of the season. A bright start from Hailsham with several half chances raised hopes for the Stringers, but the score was still goalless going into the half time interval.

Two 16-year-old debutants were involved for Hailsham over the course of the afternoon, and as the game went on it became increasingly clear that a single goal would decide the points. Just as Hailsham thought they had secured that first point, the goal would come, but for the hosts - as two minutes from time Ryan Chittock finished off a well-worked corner to keep the points in West Sussex.

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Stringers; Peach, Lusted, Fox, S Pout, Thomsett, Guest, Webster, Playford (C), Cyprien, Feasey, Taylor. Used sub; Makombe

Hailsham 2-1 Worthing Utd

Hailsham Town earned their first win of the season on Monday with a 2-1 win at home to Worthing United. A bright start from the Stringers saw Connor Townsend smack a shot from the edge of the box against the post with the 'keeper beaten on six minutes, before Rhys Taylor shot across the face of goal a couple of minutes later.

The best chance of the first half for the visitors came on 23, when a fine crossfield pass looked all set for a far post tap in, only for a superb tackle from Ben Thomsett to clear behind. The visitors were gradually imposing themselves on the game, but some hard work from Hailsham kept them frustrated, before Hailsham again finished the half strongly, Charlie Playford earning a corner after good work from Ellis Webster and Sam Pout, with Playford then heading over the top.

Before the half time kettle was boiled, however, the Stringers took the lead - a superb ball forward finding the run of Charlie Playford, who hooked the ball over the advancing 'keeper.

The visitors started the second half strongly after good work from Taylor had earned Hailsham a corner within 60 seconds of the restart, and on 50, a cross-shot from Callum Thoms levelled the scores. Both sides continued to work hard, with little in the way of chances, before Townsend saw two efforts held within the space of a couple of minutes, while Jacob Feasey would also head over for the Stringers following a corner.

The winner came on 79 - the tireless Webster was tripped, and the resulting free kick was quickly worked to sub Harry Hughes, who delivered a pinpoint cross for Jacob Feasey to power the Stringers ahead. There was still time for drama - Louis Peach, who had a fine game between the sticks for Hailsham, doing well to hold a low chance at his near post, whilst Taylor took a chance on a snap shot that went narrowly wide on 87.

With time running out, there was almost a dream debut for 16-year-old Freddie Lloyd, a late substitute, who did very well to get inside his full-back, before cutting the ball across the face of goal. This was a deserved win for a Stringers side who have worked hard without reward in recent matches, and both the performance and attitude shown throughout will hopefully bring confidence heading into September.

Stringers; Peach, Madelin (Hughes 70), Fox, S Pout, Thomsett, Guest, C Townsend, Playford (c), Webster (Lloyd 90), Feasey (Gordon 90+2), Taylor Unused; Makombe, Lusted.

Reports by Stuart Fairway