Arundel 0 Hassocks 3 12/08/2017


Report courtesy of Hassocks FC, thank you

Arundel away may not be seen as the toughest of fixtures in the Southern Combination League's Premier Division but there have been plenty of hair raising experiences for Hassocks at the home of the Mullets down the years.

These are the top flights two longest serving clubs. And despite having faced each other in every season since before the turn of the Millennium, Hassocks have only returned from Mill Road with three points on a handful of occasions over the last two decades; trips west were good for admiring this most picturesque of grounds in the shadow of Arundel Castle but not much else.

Being handed Arundel away first league game looked a daunting test then based on historical evidence.

As it was, it was one that the Robins passed with flying colours despite a fresh raft of unavailable players.

A lack of consistency in selection has hindered Hassocks for a good four seasons now. It is especially acute at the start of the season with holidays and cricketing commitments.

From last week's squad who played in the FA Cup defeat to Hollands and Blair, Jordan Badger, Ashley Marsh, Matt Berridge and Nathan Miles joined Josh Hawkes and Phil Gault on the absentees list.

Despite the missing, the Robins dominated the game from start to finish to run out comfortable 3-0 winners in an encounter in which Alex Harris was rarely troubled in keeping an all too rare clean sheet.

Harris had looked shaky in the first half of the first game of his third spell at the Beacon a week previously but that was a distant memory as he gobbled up balls into the box with all the ease of a pig snorting up a truffle.

The goalkeeper has particularly big gloves to fill in replacing James Broadbent. Broadbent was outstanding in 2016/17, winning Players, Managers and Supporters Player of the Season Awards and earning a deserved step up to the Bostik League with Shoreham. Clean sheets and performances like this will make that sizable transfer blow seem less so.

Hassocks took the lead on the 25 minute mark through in the inform Liam Benson. Benson enjoyed a fine second half to last season after being promoted from the Robins' under 21 squad and he's got two in two now in this campaign.

There were admittedly question marks about the goalkeeping of Stuart McDonald who could only parry a rasping effort from Lewis Westlake which gave Benson the chance to show off his predatory instincts which he duly did by smashing home the loose ball.

The lead was doubled on the stroke of half time by Spencer Slaughter, scoring his first goal since December 2015 in his first start since January 2016.

Since then, Slaughter has been backpacking around the world before returning for a couple of brief substitute cameos last season.

A proper pre season has given him some form and fitness under his belt and he said before the game he fancied himself to score as a result.

The opportunity to do so came courtesy of Dan Stokes, who crossed from the right to Slaughter at the far post with the finish being a tight one on the angle.

Stokes had endured a frustrating game up until that point, his passing at times being so off that he gave up trying to link up with Michael Death, telling the mercurial striker after another five yard pass went astray "I'm not passing to you anymore as it obviously just isn't working," much to Death's annoyance.

Death had no such problems with his forward partner Benson however and that combination gave Hassocks their third with five minutes remaining, the latter unselfishly rolling across to the former who finished into an open goal from eight yards to wrap up the Robins biggest opening day of the league season victory since a 5-0 win over Littlehampton Town in 1996.

Arundel had briefly threatened slightly before that when Hassocks made all manner of weird and wonderful decisions to go for goal and shoot from stupid positions rather than keep possession and run the clock down - a tactic that also would've helped them conserve energy ahead of what will no doubt be a much sterner test against early league leaders Newhaven on Tuesday night.

A lack of options on the bench didn't help in that regard either with only Jack Wilkins being summoned - perhaps just as well as joint boss Mark Dalgleish had to name himself among the substitutes.

Hassocks: Alex Harris; Tom Barnes, Harry Mills, Luke Akehurst; Dan Stokes, James Westlake, Spencer Slaughter, Lewis Westlake, Bradley Bant; Liam Benson, Michael Death.

Subs: Jack Wilkins (used), Ashley Marsh, Sam Badger, Mark Dalgleish, Josh Green (unused).

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1. Stuart McDonald

2. Lewis Jenkins

3. Jack Bingham

4. Jordan Dudas

5. Dan Towers (80 mins)

6. Scott Tipper (Capt)

7. Luke Jearum (55 mins)

8. Lee Mottershead

9. Harry Russell

10. Dion Jarvis

11. Scott Towers (45 mins)

12. Luis-Tijon Sparks (80 mins)

14. Liam Griffin (45 mins)

15. Josh Biggs

16. Brad Jordan

17. Eli Amoo (55 mins)

Attendance - 42

Goal Scorer – None

Yellow Cards – Lee Mottershead

Red Cards

– N/A

Worthing Utd 0 v 4 Arundel 15/04/2017

​Report and match details will appear here when available............

1. James Fernandes

2. Rob Lofting

3. Lewis Jenkins

4. Scott Tipper (61mins)

5. Alfie Bunker (25 mins)

6. Nathan DaCosta (Capt)

7. Lee Mottershead

8. Dion Jarvis

9. Harry Russell (76 mins)

10. Alex Biggs

11. Asa Nicholson

12. Liam DaCosta

14. Ash Hunter (61mins)

15. Luke Richards (76 mins)

16. Ben Holmes (25 mins)

Attendance - TBC

Goal Scorer – Harry Russell (2), Dion Jarvis, Rob Lofting

Yellow Cards – None

Red Cards – None

Arundel 1 v 0 Hailsham Town 11/04/2017

Report courtesy of Lewis Mason ‘The Littlehampton Gazette’ thank you

Ten-man Hailsham make Mullets work hard for win Harry Russell got the only goal as Arundel moved further clear of the SCFL Premier Division relegation places by beating ten-man Hailsham Town.

Arundel Football Club were pushed all the way by ten-man basement boys Hailsham Town in a controversial clash at Mill Road last night. Harry Russell got the only goal to ensure Mullets moved up a place to 16th in the standings to ease their relegation fears with a 1-0 win. It was far from plain sailing for Arundel, who struggled for large periods against a team playing with ten players for more than 85 minutes.

Hailsham goalkeeper Ryan Reid was shown a straight red card less than five minutes in for handball outside the area, forcing midfielder Sammy Townsend to go in goal as they had no substitute keeper.

The victory moves Mullets five points clear of third-bottom AFC Uckfield Town in the final relegation spot. Arundel boss Richard Towers felt the three points were all he could take out of the game and wants to see an improvement in the critical Easter fixtures against Worthing United and Wick.

He said: “We were as poor in this one as we were good in our win over Eastbourne United on Saturday. “I made the mistake of saying to the lads that a 1-0 win would do, which I’m pleased with, but I wanted a performance as well. “We’ve moved further away from danger but if we continue to play like this we’ll be back in trouble. The win is all we can take from this.

Connor Townsend" saw a well-struck effort saved down low by James Fernandes inside two minutes, before a moment of controversy. Harry Russell’s attempted lob was handled by the onrushing Reid outside the area, leaving referee David Joseph with no choice but to send him off. After much deliberation - and with no substitutes - midfielder Sammy Townsend was forced to go in goal.

Mullets made the most of the extra man going ahead after 21 minutes. Asa Nicholson and Lewis Jenkins linked up with the latter playing in Russell, whose right-foot drive nestled in the bottom corner off a post.

Arundel failed to kick on following the goal with Hailsham looking dangerous on the counter. Fernandes was nearly caught in possession ten minutes before half-time, then Connor Townsend’s cross just evaded Matt Barbosa with Hailsham ending the first 45 minutes stronger.

It was more of the same early in the second as Connor Townsend went close on two occasions. Fernandes had to get down low to stop a fierce drive five minutes after the restart, then Townsend’s first-time volley – after meeting Marcus Goldsmith’s cross – went just wide.

Hailsham began to tire in the closing stages and substitute Luke Richards almost had an instant impact. Nicholson’s header played the forward in less than a minute after his introduction, although he could only blaze well over six minutes from time. Richards then fired a rebound just wide a minute later, while Sammy Townsend spilled over and Russell poked just over as it ended 1-0.

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1. James Fernandes

2. Rob Lofting 

3. Lewis Jenkins

4. Scott Tipper

5. Alfie Bunker (65 mins)

6. Lloyd Walker (Capt) (50 mins)

7. Lee Mottershead

8. Dion Jarvis (80 mins)

9. Harry Russell

10. Nathan DaCosta

11. Asa Nicholson

12. Alex Biggs (50 mins)

14.  Ash Hunter (65 mins)

15. Luke Richards (80 mins)

16. Ben Holmes

Attendance - 32

Goal Scorer – Harry Russell

Yellow Cards – Ash Hunter

Red Cards – None