Ex-international striker Nurse’s brace is sign of things to come

Jon Nurse in action for Dagenham & Redbridge back in 2011
Jon Nurse in action for Dagenham & Redbridge back in 2011

Former Football League and Barbadian international striker Jon Nurse’s brace signalled a sign of things to come at Loxwood.

The ex-Dagenham & Redbridge forward, who got Barnet promoted as player coach last year, netted twice for the Magpies against Hassocks on Tuesday night.

Nurse, who used to play with Loxwood boss Mark Beard at Stevenage, signed for the Plaistow Road club at the start of the season.

He had already made a couple of appearances, but has been playing for Met Police. A new job at the Surrey FA has meant the forward, who has six caps for Barbados, has left the Ryman League club.

He now looks set to feature heavily for Loxwood and is even playing there for free.

Beard said: “Jon has a bit of experience and has played at a good level in League One, League Two and the Conference and he came in and scored two, he’s different class.

“I played with him when I was at Stevenage and we kept in touch and I work for him at the LTB Academy.

“He left Barnet in the summer after getting them promoted and was looking for a club so trained with us in pre-season. He’s left Met Police and we have him now and he is available for us, so as long as he’s enjoying it it’s great and it helps out the youngsters.”

The visitors took the lead after three minutes when Bradley Bant’s corner sailed in past Loxwood goalkeeper Sam Smith.

The lead lasted just nine minutes as Michael deflected a Josh Courtney cross past Alex Harris in the Robins goal.

Hassocks retook the lead on 35 minutes as Phil Gault put a strong challenge in on Smith and the ball dropped to Dan Jacques, whose cross dropped in at the far post.

Then came two quick-fire goals from the hosts with Ollie Gill the architect of both, firstly slipping in Nurse after a rapid counter attack from a Hassocks corner and then teeing up Michael Wood to give Loxwood the lead.

Gill himself made it 4-2 five minutes after the restart with a low drive from distance and the game was up on the hour mark when Nurse added his second of the evening.

Hassocks added a late third when Josh Hawkes fired home with the last kick of the game.

Beard added: “We just needed a win. It was a bad November with only winning one in four, albeit two cup games.

“We just needed to get our league form back on track.

“I think Ollie Gill picked up a bad injury. He’s our second top scorer and has only played four or so games, he was outstanding, but I think he has a bad ankle injury and could be out for a while.”

Loxwood: Smith, Courtney, French, Scally, Summerfield, Beard, Holvey (Swaine), Bachelor, Gill (Cave), Nurse (Pitcher), Wood.

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