Report courtesy of Hailsham Town FC FaceBook page. Thank you
Stringers Sink Arundel in Seven Goal Thriller
A cold, overcast day greeted the arrival of Arundel at the Beaconsfield this afternoon, but the football was enough to warm the hearts of the Stringers fans, at least, if not anyone who loves an entertaining match! With kick-off delayed by a couple of minutes due to a hole being found in the pitch (the groundstaff rushing on with dirt and a shovel) the fans that made the trip to Hailsham's ground were patiently waiting for some entertainment.
They didn't have to wait long. The home side made a bright start, forcing Mullets 'keeper James Fernandes into a couple of early saves, before Ross Markham thundered a shot from 30 yards that clipped the outside of the post. Arundel began to get a foothold in the game, and began to threaten, but when a ball over the top found Hailsham's Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa he ran on and calmly slotted the ball through the legs of the onrushing 'keeper.
Hailsham's lead didn't last long though, with Arundel's Harry Russell finding the back of the net just three minutes later. Hailsham continued to attack, and nobody will know how Arundel's defence kept out a goalmouth scramble around the half hour mark.
The game then exploded into life ten minutes before half time. First, Rodrigues-Barbosa picked up his second goal of the match, then the same player was brought down in the box just a minute later. Some fans expected him to take the penalty, but it was Ross Markham who would slam the ball into the bottom-right corner of the goal to extend Hailsham's lead. Barely seconds later though, it was 3-2, Arundel's Alex Biggs finding the net as the Stringers defence failed to deal with a high ball.
Both teams were quite cagey at the beginning of the second half. Not much goalmouth action occurred until the 65th minute, when substitute Sam Connolly drove the ball home from just inside the 18 yard box after a good ball through - he had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes and was clearly delighted with the strike. Again, though, Arundel rallied fast, and just a couple of minutes later halved the deficit, Ash Harper finding the net from close range after a flick on from a long throw in.
That set the tone for the rest of the match, with Arundel laying siege to the Hailsham goal, and Hailsham playing some nice counter-attacks. Arundel were reduced to 10 men around 10 minutes from the end of the match, goalscorer Alex Biggs being shown a second yellow card after tripping Markham when he tried to break. Hailsham themselves were down to 10 men when Markham was sent off in injury time after an altercation with Arundel's Scott Tipper.
The Stringers held on though, recording their first league victory of the season, just in time to face giants Brighton and Hove Albion in the Sussex Senior Cup on Wednesday night.
Hailsham Town 4(3) (Rodrigues-Barbosa 2, Markham, Connolly)
Arundel 3(2) (Russell, Biggs, Harper)
MoM: Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa
1. James Fernandes (Capt)
2. Archie Thorpe
3. Spencer Adams
4. Lewis Jenkins
5. Jordan Dudas
6. Dion Jarvis
7. Ash Harper
8. Alex Biggs
9. Harry Russell
10. Barney Boutwood
11. Asa Nicholson
12. Scott Tipper
14. Brad Lewis
15. Rory Biggs
16. Ash Hunter
Attendance - 60
Goal Scorers - Harry Russell, Alex Biggs, Ash Harper
Yellow Cards - TBC
Red cards - Alex Biggs