Loxwood must 'kick on in the league' after double cup triumph

Alex Walsh has called on his side to ‘kick on in the league’ after Loxwood were victorious in both the FA Vase and the Peter Bentley Cup this week.

Liam Matthews was Loxwoods saviour in the penalty shooutout win at AFC Varndeanians. Picture by Steve Robards
Liam Matthews was Loxwoods saviour in the penalty shooutout win at AFC Varndeanians. Picture by Steve Robards

On Saturday the Magpies picked up a 4-2 penalty shooutout win, after the game had finished 2-2, at Division 1 outfit AFC Varndeanians in the first qualifying round of the Vase.

Loxwood followed this up with a 4-2 victory at neighbours Broadbridge Heath in the Peter Bentley Cup on Tuesday, extending their unbeaten run to four in all competitions.

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Walsh said: “We’re aware of the start we’ve had. With regards to results it’s been disappointing but performances have been pretty good.

“It’s nice that we’re four games undefeated but we’ve got to build from that and try and kick on in the league.

“The cups have been good for us but the league is important and we need to start climbing that table.

“We want to be taking them seriously and try and do as well as we can and against Broadbridge Heath, with a lot of youngsters on the pitch too, it’s a good sign.”

Saturday’s Vase tie saw Varndeanians go ahead but a Jack Hayward own goal drew the Magpies level before the break.

Sam Karl put Loxwood 2-1 up on 71 minutes but a late goal for the hosts saw the game go to extra-time.

The sides couldn’t be separated after the extra 30 minutes so it came down to penalties.

And the Magpies prevailed thanks to heroics from Liam Matthews. The keeper produced a superb stop as Loxwood took a 4-2 shootout win.

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Walsh added: “Both sides were depleted. We went with a slightly younger side and I think they had a few injuries.

“But it was a good game of football. We felt we did well in large amounts of the game but they had a never-say-die attitude and kept coming back at us.

“We’re just really pleased that we came out on the right side of that result. It’s a bit of luck at the end there but we deserved to win the game and we’re pleased to go through to the next round.”

On Tuesday evening, Matt Hards gave Loxwood the lead on 21 minutes before Jamie Taylor equalised for Heath four minutes before half-time.

A frantic ten minutes period in the second-half saw Tim Bennett put the Magpies in front on 56 minutes before he doubled the advantage, and his tally, on the hour.

Taylor reduced the deficit on 64 minutes but Matt Boiling scored what proved to be the winner a minute later.

Walsh said: “In the first half we played some of the best football we’ve played this season. Sometimes we’ve got to manage the game a bit better but when we were 4-2 up in the last 15 minutes we managed it superbly.”

The Magpies host Langney Wanderers in the league on Saturday.