New Westies boss picks up first point

Westfield’s footballers ended a three-match losing run in all competitions with a decent point yesterday (Saturday).

Jack Stapley picked up his first point as Westfield manager in the 0-0 draw at home to Billingshurst yesterday
Jack Stapley picked up his first point as Westfield manager in the 0-0 draw at home to Billingshurst yesterday

The Westies kept their first clean sheet of the season and earned their first point under new manager Jack Stapley as they drew 0-0 at home to Billingshurst in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two.

While certainly not a classic for the spectators, the result against a Billingshurst team lying in the top three at kick-off represented a step in the right direction for a Westfield side which had conceded 10 goals in its previous three matches.

Although they carried little threat in attack - not helped by the absence of players like Sam Winter and Curtis Coombes - Westfield were at least resolute in defence - which had to be the main objective - and the return of Mark Drinkwater helped in that respect.

After a quiet opening quarter, Billingshurst seemed to be gaining the upper hand as the first half wore on. Nick Tilley was whiskers away from putting the visitors ahead after 25 minutes with a tremendous left-foot shot from just outside the box which crashed against the crossbar.

Craig Grantham headed just over from a Remi Thomas free kick, which was taken from just inside the box after Westfield goalkeeper Joe Cullip was penalised for holding the ball for too long - a law very rarely invoked. Tilley squandered probably the visitors’ best chance when he latched on to a ball over the top, but ballooned his finish well over the crossbar with just Cullip to beat.

At the other end, Drinkwater headed over at the far post from Roberto Martellini’s left wing corner and Sam Ellis burst into the right-hand side of the box before unleashing a low angled drive which was saved by the feet of goalkeeper Tom Betts.

The second half was something of a stalemate in the warm autumn sunshine. Grantham fired a left-foot shot wide of the near post in probably the clearest opening after getting goalside of the Westfield defence.

Both sides tried to win it in the latter stages and got into some promising positions, but neither could come up the moment of magic necessary to break the deadlock.

Westfield: Cullip, Burt (Bell 79), Durrant, Drinkwater (Archer 67), Willis, Gatcum, Martellini (Davis 72), Okunja, Hurst, Ellis, Sotoyinbo. Subs not used: Stapley, Ugbene.

Standings (played-points): 1 Cowfold 8-19, 2 Roffey 8-17, 3 AFC Varndeanians 7-17, 4 Rottingdean Village 8-17, 5 Billingshurst 8-16, 6 Bosham 8-15, 7 Upper Beeding 8-12, 8 Ifield Galaxy 8-12, 9 Ferring 7-10, 10 WESTFIELD 7-10, 11 Montpelier Villa 8-9, 12 Alfold 8-8, 13 Rustington 7-15, 14 Hurstpierpoint 8-2, 15 AFC Roffey Club 7-1, 16 Clymping 7-1.

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