Beard boasts Loxwood’s best complete display

DM158492a.jpg Football, Haywards Heath Town v Loxwood. H/H manager Shaun Saunders. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150829-212948008
DM158492a.jpg Football, Haywards Heath Town v Loxwood. H/H manager Shaun Saunders. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150829-212948008

Loxwood manager Mark Beard heralded their best complete performance of the season as they eased to a comfortable 4-0 victory away at Lancing.

The Magpies inflicted Lancers with just their second home loss of the season on the new 3G surface at Culver Road.

Sam Beard, who has been playing in a more advanced role on the left wing, and Charlie Pitcher shared the goals as Loxwood claimed their first scalp over a top-four team.

Boss Mark Beard said: “We played well – probably the best we have played all season, all the way through.

“We have been playing well, but in patches when we have been doing things right. But for 90 minutes we were bang on it.

“ It could have been a lot more as well (the scoreline). We had so many chances and I don’t think Sam Smith made a save until the 89th minute.

“We were excellent and it was a quality performance – we worked out we had six players under-19 and lost Ryan Richefond to Worthing during the week.

“We’d not had a win against any of the top teams so far. Horsham YMCA, Horsham and Eastbourne Town were the three games we had lost, so it does a lot mentally for us as these are the games we need to be winning.”

Loxwood were in control from the off and went close early on through Harry Bachelor, who forced a smart save from Callum Fidler.

Loxwood led on 17 minutes later when Bachelor again found himself in space and picked out Sam Beard, who finished nicely.

The home side’s first half was encapsulated by a rare mistake from the usually-dependable Josh Spinks, who mis-hit a clearance straight into the path of Pitcher and he slammed in the second ten minutes before the break.

Pitcher might have ended the match as a contest by half-time but he fired over the bar unmarked from eight yards a minute before the interval.

After the break, a superb stop from Fidler prevented Pitcher from adding the third.

Alex Bygraves headed off the line to keep out Beard’s follow-up on the rebound.

That proved to only be a temporary reprieve as Beard grabbed his second and his side’s third with an excellent goal on 53 minutes.

Then, just beyond the hour mark, Pitcher’s second made it 4-0 and a double apiece 
for Loxwood’s impressive pairing, before Lewis Finney’s straight red card saw the 
hosts’ day go from bad to worse.

Loxwood right-back Joe Holvey was sent off for a second booking to even up the numbers, but there was no such luck on the scoreboard for Lancing.