Alfold manager Munday plays down title hopes despite going top

Football. Alfold v Montpelier in Division 2.Dan Hallett.  Pic Steve Robards SR18001322 SUS-180801-061856001
Football. Alfold v Montpelier in Division 2.Dan Hallett. Pic Steve Robards SR18001322 SUS-180801-061856001

Alfold manager Matt Munday has played down his side’s title hopes despite seeing them extend their unbeaten run to 11 matches and climb top of Division 2 on Saturday.

That was achieved with a 2-1 victory away at a Westfield side that had won their previous five games having only s conceded two goals against them.

With Roffey’s game being postponed due to bad weather and Rustington playing in the cup it was a chance for Alfold to go top, albeit having played more games than high-flying Roffey.

Munday made one change to his team which saw debutant Mark Bevan come in for the unavailable Jamie Wanstall.

The game started scrappily with the Westfield goalkeeper continually lumping the ball forwards to Josh Carey and Asher Grindle.

And on 15 minutes, the home side got the break through with a quick ball over the top which held up on the heavy pitch for Carey to score.

This was a wake-up call for Alfold and they responded with Kieron Purkis and Bevan causing all sorts of problem - ending up unlucky not to grab an equaliser in the first half.

Five minutes into the second half and some great play by Purkis found Dan Hallett, who volleyed the ball into the bottom right corner from a tight angle.

Alfold did not stop there, the influential Lee Wragg was dominating midfield and creating chance after chance. But then 65 minutes, Alfold were dealt with blow as Purkis was forced off with a hamstring problem.

Manager Munday made the bold decision to bring on centre-half Tom Familton up front which gave Westfield something else to think about with his physical presence.

With 75 minutes on the clock and some good work down the right-hand side, Jamal Sultan sent in a teasing ball to the box, and Familton found space between the right-back and centre-half to power his header homefor what turned out to be the winning goal.

Munday was delighted with the result but played down any chance of a title win.

He said: “The team are playing brilliantly. We defend as a unit, attack in numbers, but most importantly every player wants to fight for each other and this great little club.

“We know that next week is huge as we face Roffey who have been top all season, so to keep the momentum going was very important.

“In terms of the title we are not looking that far ahead, to say we are in the title race I would probably disagree, at the moment as the two below us have three games in hand.

“Let’s see where we are once those games have been played, but for me it’s down to Rustington and Roffey to allow us in on the title race.

“I’m expecting a fair few spectators on Saturday which I’m sure will be a great footballing battle between two very good sides.”

Off the field things are moving along for the required ground improvements. The hard standings, paths and temporary stand are scheduled to be finished for the March 31 deadline. Planning permission for the main stand, lights, new dug outs and fencing will be submitted soon.

Alfold: Corriera, Fowler, Munday, Lucas, Goodman, Wragg, Routley, Purkis, Sultan, Bevan, Hallett. Subs: May, Familton, Azyldiz.