Ten-man Midhurst earn valuable three points in goal fest

Midhurst & Easebourne returned from Forest Row with a valuable three points after a thrilling 5-3 win in SCFL Division One on Saturday.

Midhurst & Easebourne returned from Forest Row with a valuable three points after a thrilling 5-3 win in SCFL Division One on Saturday. Picture by Tommy McMillan
Midhurst & Easebourne returned from Forest Row with a valuable three points after a thrilling 5-3 win in SCFL Division One on Saturday. Picture by Tommy McMillan

Stags started brightly and had a good chance to take the lead in the opening minute. Kieran Carter’s corner just evaded Lewis Hyde at the back post.

But it was the hosts who took the lead in the fifth minute. With the Stags back line stretched, George Holah caught keeper Josh Bird in no man's land and slotted home.

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Stags responded well and were back level within a minute. Will Essai's free kick was headed home by Marcus Bedford from the edge of the penalty area.

Stags had a good 20 minute spell. Carter beat his man on the left, and put in a good ball to Bedford who fired over.

In the 17th minute Jake Slater’s well struck free kick came back off the crossbar and the loose ball fell to Lewis Hamilton and his well struck volley gave the Stags a deserved lead.

Stags continued to push. James Liddiard got free down the right, played a good ball into Bedford and a last ditch tackle stopped the striker getting his second.

Bedford again was put through by Hamilton and forced home keeper Ben Abbott into a good save to his right. The loose ball was hacked off the line.

Forest Row worked themselves back in the game. Matt Burroughs fired wide when well placed.

Forest Row did draw level in the 37th minute. A loose ball fell to Holah and he easily beat Bird.

Row had a big chance just before the break. Tom Underwood cut in on the left and fired his shot just wide of the far post.

Stags got control early in the second half. Carter put Hamilton through and he was bundled to the ground but the referee waved away the protests for a penalty.

Stags were causing problems from set pieces. In the 57 minute a cleared corner fell to Essai who whipped in a great cross for Carter to powerfully head home at the back post.

Stags kept pushing and Hamilton picked out Bedford who’s great touch gave him a chance and his effort hit the post.

In the 76th minute good play down the left from Carter picked out Bedford and the striker fired home from edge of the area.

Stags continued to have control with several half chances.

In the 84th minute, a corner wasn't dealt with by Bird. The loose ball was fired towards goal and Hamilton stopping the ball on the goal line with his hand and received a red card, with a penalty awarded, Holah stepped up and beat Bird for his hat-trick.

Forest Row were caught on the break in the last minute. Harry Dowell picked the ball up and ran three-quarters of the pitch only to be bundled down in the penalty area. Stags were awarded a penalty and Carter calmly slotted home to seal the points.

Stags boss Andy Ewen said: "First half we played well in spells but allowed them back in it. Second half they couldn’t contain us.

"We moved the ball better and did things quicker and looked dangerous every time we went forward.

"Even when we went down to ten men our game management was good."