Beard: Early penalty miss might have helped us beat Hassocks

Football:  Horsham YMCA v Loxwood (double). Pic Steve Robards  SR1702981 SUS-170219-224100001
Football: Horsham YMCA v Loxwood (double). Pic Steve Robards SR1702981 SUS-170219-224100001

Loxwood manager Mark Beard felt missing an early penalty could have been a good thing as his side picked up an impressive scalp over Hassocks.

Ollie Gill missed a spot kick after just a minute, but a patient Magpies went on to win 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Tom Frankland and a Matt Daniel penalty.

The Robins came into the clash on the back of an impressive 4-1 victory over title chasing Shoreham midweek.

But an impressive Loxwood display saw them clinch their 12th win of the Premier Division campaign and keep up their recent good run.

Beard said: “We played really well and the scoreline could have been a bit more as well. We got a penalty in the first minute and Ollie Gill missed it and that could of been a good thing - we went 1-0 up at Lancing a couple of weeks back after two minutes and did not play well after that.

“But on Saturday we continued to play very well after the miss. It was a good end-to-end game. They look to play football and we played some great stuff.

“We played really well especially after they had played Shoreham and won midweek. You could see they were buzzing in the warm-up, but I said to the boys, have belief, focus and play with the confidence we have been with.”

Loxwood should have been ahead after just a minute as Daniel was brought down in the box and referee Robert King duly pointed to the spot, but Gill’s effort was kept out by James Broadbent.

The keeper then tipped Charlie Pitcher’s header over the bar, while at the other end, James Westlake let fly, but his fiercely-struck shot only rattled the crossbar with Dave Carruthers beaten in the home goal.

Five minutes into the second half, the Robins should have taken the lead when Jack Rowe-Hurst rounded Carruthers, but somehow put wide. Ten minutes later, Westlake took aim again after finding space but his effort was again just off target.

This sparked the Magpies into gear and after an infringement on the edge of the area by Harry Mills, Gill stepped up and clattered the bar.

Beard looked to freshen things up on 64 minutes by introducing Frankland and Ed Davies to the action and it was only six minutes later that it paid dividends.

Davies, running at the tiring Hassocks defence, was causing all sorts of problems and Frankland seized the opportunity and guided the ball home.

​With 10 minutes to go, Davis weaved his way into the area where he impeded and Daniel slotted low away the resulting penalty.

Beard added: “A lot of players have come back in - Harry Bachelor and Ollie Gill, and Dave Carruthers has been outstanding, he helps us play out from the back and it’s like having another player, it’s no coincidence we are doing well again.

“Everyone is back fit and there is a bit of a buzz about the place again.”

Loxwood: Carruthers, Bachelor, French, Scally, Colbran, Batchelor (Pittock 75), Daniel, Gill, Pitcher (Davies 64), Swaine (Frankland 64), Williams.