BLUES RECOVER AFTER 25 SECOND GOAL
Rustington gave Westfield the lead in a bizarre hand ball/free kick goal after only 25 seconds of the match.
The game started in the worst possible way for Rustington – immediately from Kick Off a hand ball from Jack Corbett was given 25/30 yards out. Westfields skipper then proceeded to put it in the top right hand corner.
0-1 to Westfield after 25 seconds at least!
Rustington responded almost immediately – a channel ball from full back Rob Butcher was flicked onto to Chris Kirkham who crossed into the box, the ball broke to Andy Boxall and from 6 yards out made it 1-1 after 5 minutes.
The game then became very stop/start with the referee blowing up every couple of minutes. The game seemed to be played a lot in the middle of the park and became quite competitive.
The vocal, physical visitors seemed to get frustrated by the referee as did Rustington.
Westfield always looked dangerous at set pieces with excellent delivery, so the back 4 of Rustington needed to be up to the task. John Beaney and Jack Corbett playing excellently.
With 5 minutes remaining the Westfield striker cleverly got in front of John Beaney and went to ground in the area – the ref awarding the spot kick. It seemed harsh, but it was more the cleverness of the striker that won the penalty than a bad decision from the ref.
The Westfield captain again coolly placed the ball in the net.
Rustington didn’t need to adjust their game too much in the 2nd half, just more of the game was required.
The 2nd half again was played at a competitive manner with tackles flying in. all fairly though. Rustington looked dangerous on the counter attack with the two Kirkham brothers continually causing problems, but straying offside on occasions.
A Chris Kirkham cross to the back post to Brother Steve was smartly saved by the visiting keeper.
Down the other end Charlie had to be at his best to save excellently down low from the Westfield striker the follow up needed a last minute saving tackle from Chris Green.
Moments later Steve Kirkham was holding the ball up in the box, when the Westfield defender took his legs away. Penalty to Rustington.
James Bennett stepped up and coolly slotted it in the right hand corner.
Rustington bought on defender Alex MacIver and in the closing minutes a crunching tackle from MacIver to prevent a last ditch Westfield attack proved costly as Alex was carried off with severe damage to his ankle and shin.
The last few seconds were played out nervously in the Rustington area but the ref blew for final whistle to give Rustington a well earned point.
“ I thought we were good for the point today – the game itself wasn’t pretty, but the work rate and attitude to not give in, especially after the start we had was excellent. Westfield are a tough, traditional County 2 side. Very strong, intimidating and vocal, so to earn a point off them home and away is pleasing”
“Sadly we have lost Alex to nasty injury – it was a fair full bloodied challenge, but unfortunately Alex has come off the worse. He has been tremendous for us this year, so he will be a big loss for what looks like to be a month or so”