Rustington find form to see off Villa

Rustington seem to be hitting form at the right time as they followed up the midweek win at Littlehampton United with an impressive 3-1 win against previously unbeaten Montpelier Villa.

It couldn’t have got off to a better start as Rustington came flying out the blocks and were ahead in the second minute, Mike Gilchrist on hand to smash home the lose ball following a corner.

Rustington were in the ascendancy and the lively trio of James Butt, Josh Irish and Chris Darwin were causing the visitors' defence no end of problems, the lead was soon to be doubled and James Butt brilliantly headed home at the near post following some brilliant work out wide from Chris Darwin.

The first half brough relentless pressure from the home side with Montpelier offering very little in return, Josh Irish should have increased the home advantage when he found himself one on one with the visiting keeper only to see his tame effort well saved.

Rustington have hit form in the SCFL Shield

Gary Peters and Rob Brown impressed in midfield and Alex MacIver and Mike Gilchrist were totally dominant at the back for Rustington. The game was as good as put to bed on the 34th minute, Chris Darwin who had been a threat all of the opening period fired home from 15 yards and The Blues went into half time with a 3-0 advantage.

The second half was never going to follow the intensity of the first period and while Rustington continued to be resolute in defence, Billy Nash in the home goal wasn’t really tested and the home side continued to carve out opportunities to extend their lead.

The game did have one flashpoint in the 72nd minute when Jake Cleall appeared to caught off the ball with a stray arm but the referee deemed no further action required and both sides maintained a full compliment of players. Montpelier were handed a late consolation though as Regan Miles managed to head past the stricken Billy Nash in the Rustington goal.

The last 15 minutes were played out without any incident and it finished 3-1 to the home side, a big win in the context of the end of season competition, meaning a win on Saturday against Rottingdean Village could see Rustington progress to the semi finals dependent on Montpelier's result against unbeaten Worthing Town which is being played at the same time.

After a stop start return to action the Blues finally seem to be firing on all cylinders which bodes well ahead of an important final weekend of fixtures.

Rustington: B Nash, A MacIver (C), M Gilchrist, J Beaney, R Miles, J Cleall, R Brown, G Peters, J Butt, J Irish, C Darwin. Subs: O Chick (Beaney 46), J Wotherspoon (Butt 74), C Bennett (Darwin 78), R John, J Crouch.