STEYNING Town Football Club manager John Suter was delighted to take a point as his side returned to action, after a month’s lay-off, to a baptism of fire at Wick & Barnham United on Tuesday night.
The Barrowmen boss admitted his side, who drew 1-1, started poorly and could have been at least four goals down at half-time if it was not for some inspired goalkeeping and wasteful finishing by the Wick forwards.
Nevertheless, a Ben Greer screamer on 30 minutes levelled up Spencer Newman’s early strike to send the sides in even at the break, and a hugely-improved Town could have even come away with victory after a series of chances in the second half.
Suter said: “I was very pleased with a point as we could have been 4-0 down after half-an-hour. It was terrific really, bearing in mind we’d had one game since December 14.
“I had two players making their debuts and a goalkeeper who had not played since mid-September, so, understandably, we were very rusty.
“We couldn’t keep up, gave the ball away and looked very sluggish. I thought if we could get in at half-time at just one down it would be something.”
“Matt Evans produced his own show of heroics to keep them out which was aided and attributed to by the Wick strikers, who were very wasteful in front of goal.”
After Newman netted from a corner, Town stopper Matt Evans saved a Dan Cox penalty, before United’s Ash Harper spurned a host of chances and the home side also hit the outside of a post.
Greer, however, hit a ferocious strike from distance to haul his side level, which had left the Wick stopper glued to spot.
The second half was a different story, as Town more than held their own and Alfie Gritt had a strike chalked off for an offside decision, before substitute Shaun Skipper had a golden chance to win it late on.
He broke through to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but shot too early and miscued his effort high and wide.
Suter added: “The second half was much more even and, after 45 minutes, we got used to playing football again.
“We even could have won it at the end, we wouldn’t of deserved it, but who cares about that?
“In the second half, I was very pleased with the team performance and I’m glad to get the game out the way.
TOWN: Evans; Shuga’a, Greer, Pickup, Early; Dodd, Harris, O’Neill, Wilmott; Gritt, Bilal. Subs: Towse (Wilmott 65), Clark, Skipper (O’Neill, Bilal 75), Elms.