Westies beaten at the Withdean

Westfield Football Club’s eagerly-anticipated trip to the Withdean Stadium on Saturday ended in disappointment after a 5-0 defeat to AFC Varndeanians.

Tom Archer shared Westfield's Hastings Kickboxing Academy man of the match honours with Roberto Martellini. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon
Tom Archer shared Westfield's Hastings Kickboxing Academy man of the match honours with Roberto Martellini. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon

But the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two match could have turned out very differently because Westfield hit the woodwork three times at 0-0.

Westfield manager Jack Stapley said: “For the first 40 minutes it was the best we’ve played all season; they didn’t get out of their half pretty much. But once we concede a goal, where our confidence is so low, we just seem to fold and let teams bully us.”

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Adebola Sotoyinbo’s 25-yard free kick struck the crossbar and bounced down on the line, while Emmanuel Okunja’s volley hit bar and post before rolling along the line. Westfield thought it was in, but the officials didn’t agree.

Westfield also hit the post with a header from another corner, yet fell behind against the run of play just before half time. Joe Cullip made a great save from the first effort, but the ball rebounded straight to Ahmed Shaker, who tapped home.

That goal rather knocked the stuffing out of Westfield and they conceded twice more early in the second period. Jack Phillips made it 2-0 after Cullip saved the initial header at a corner and Shaker then converted a penalty following a tug by Martyn Durrant.

On a bobbly and sandy pitch, Dale Beesley and Thomas Levitt netted fairly late on to complete the scoring for a third-placed Varndeanians side which boasts the division’s last remaining unbeaten record.

Westfield: Cullip; Paine, Archer, Willis, Durrant; Okunja (Ugbene), Gatcum, Hurst (Winter), Sotoyinbo (Davis); Dadswell, Martellini.

Having picked up just one point from their last five games and conceded 18 goals in the process, Stapley says Westfield’s visit from AFC Roffey Club this coming Saturday is a ‘must win’ game.

Tenth-placed Westfield ran out 7-2 winners in the reverse fixture, but Stapley is expecting a tougher test this time around as second-bottom Roffey have shown better form of late.

He said: “We’ve got into a habit of losing at the moment and habits can go on for a long time. We need to buck the trend and put in a really good 90-minute performance, although the performance is probably secondary to the result against a team that have picked up recently.”

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