Loxwood clinch the points in a ‘crazy day’ at Plaistow Road

Loxwood v Littlehampton. Cecil Jee taps home. Picture by Matt Camp
Loxwood v Littlehampton. Cecil Jee taps home. Picture by Matt Camp

Mark Beard was delighted to claim three points from a ‘crazy day’ at Plaistow Road against improving Littlehampton.

Loxwood had to overcome injuries to all three of their strikers in a sodden six-goal thriller in the Premier Division.

After a delayed kick-off due to surface water being removed from the pitch, a Michael Wood brace put the hosts 2-0 up.

Then they lost both Wood and Toby House to injury before the 15-minute mark – adding to fellow forward Charlie Pitcher, who pulled up in the warm-up.

Goals from Cecil Jee and George Gaskin meant it was 3-1 at half-time.

Clyde Jacques and Gaskin then both notched again, before goalkeeper Jack Foyster made a superb penalty save to deny Gaskin his hat-trick.

Beard said: “We started really well and Michael Wood scored a really good team goal after three minutes and we were 2-0 up after seven minutes to an even better goal.

“We were then hit by a bit of a nightmare player-wise as Michael was going through for his hat-trick and was scythed downed and his ankle ballooned up.

“Then two minutes later Toby was chasing a ball down and got done by a slide tackle, so we’d made two forward subs in 14 minutes.

“We were worried we could let them back into it and they nicked one back just before half-time. It was disappointing as it gave them a bit of encouragement to start the second half.

“Clyde got a really good fourth, but Gaskin then pulled another one back after a slip at the back. Jack then pulled off an unbelievable save from a penalty and that changed the game as it knocked the stuffing out of them. It was a bit of a crazy day with the weather and injuries as well.”

In just the third minute, Mark Cave slipped the ball to Wood who curled the ball in off the far post to give the hosts the lead from 18 yards.

Four minutes later the pair combined again as Wood took aim and smashed an effort past Luke Hutchings to double the lead.

The Magpies did well to ensure their momentum wasn’t halted despite enforced changes, and just after the half-hour mark as a Cave free-kick was stabbed home from close range by Jee.

Jee headed just over before Golds’ Mitchell Hand forced Foyster into a save that went straight to Gaskin, who tapped the ball home.

In the second half, Jay Lovett recycled a corner and delivered an in-swinging cross that Jacques was able to guide into the bottom corner.

On the hour mark, Gaskin got in behind the back line and calmly rounded Foyster and slotted home for 4-2.

Foyster then denied Gaskin from the penalty spot after a Jacques foul to kill off any Littlehampon hopes.

At the other end, Jee, Matt Daniel, Lewis Scally and Cave all missed good chances to extend Loxwood’s lead.

Loxwood: Foyster, Colbran, French, Scally, Jacques, Dollery, Cave, Lovett, Napper, Wood (Jee 16), House (Daniel 19). Unused: Hilfiker, Pitcher.

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