Beard praises character as nine-man Loxwood rescue late draw to end losing run

Loxwood FC. Eddie French.  09-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1627591 SUS-160924-124840001
Loxwood FC. Eddie French. 09-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1627591 SUS-160924-124840001

Loxwood ended their five-game losing run as their nine men scored two late goals to rescue an unlikely draw at Peacehaven.

The Magpies, having had Charlie Pitcher and debutant Tom Frankland sent off, trailed 2-0 on 87 minutes to goals from Marcus Allen and Jack Doe.

But Mark Beard’s side pulled off a dramatic comeback as goals from substitute Toby House and Eddie French – the latter in the fourth minute of injury-time – earned them a point.

There were impressive performances from debutant goalkeeper Dave Carruthers and recent addition Ed Davies, who set up both goals.

Beard saluted his players’ character and said: “It was a really good entertaining game.

“Obviously we had two players and my assistant manager sent off so there was a bit of ill-discipline.

“The first one we have reviewed and Tom went in two-footed, but he’s got the ball – it’s not malicious and their player has not made a meal of it. Looking back the ref could have given a yellow, but he’s set the tone for the rest of the game.

“We still did okay with ten men and came out in the second half and dominated the game completely. We then had Charlie Pitcher sent off for dissent – we were not happy with him as we have spoken to him time and time again and it happens all the time.

“But the character of the boys was great. Even at 2-0 down I still felt we could get back in it. We have four up front and two at the back. Dave Carrruthers making his debut in goal was like another defender, he was different class. Young Ed Davies has also come in, he has been brilliant and set up both goals. I was so pleased for Eddie French as well, scoring the equaliser with the last touch of the game. He led by example after having a bit of a rough run of late.”

In the 24th minute, the assistant referee spotted a two-footed tackle by Frankland and although the ball was clearly won, a red card was shown. In the 40th minute, hesitation in the Loxwood back-line gave Allen the opportunity to turn and strike into the top corner.

Loxwood started the second half in the ascendency and on 72 minutes, Scally’s lofted shot was disallowed for offside.

Pitcher took so much of an exception to the decision that he was shown a red card for foul and abusive language.

With eight minutes left to play, Davies appeared to be tripped in the area and with nothing given, the hosts broke away with substitute Doe making it 2-0. With three minutes left, Loxwood managed to pull a goal back as House bundled home Davies cross. As the visitors pushed, they got their rewards when a Davies free kick was headed home by French late on.

Loxwood: Carruthers, Bachelor (Jacques 64), Scally, French, Colbran, Davies, Daniel, Frankland, Napper, Pitcher, Ramsey (House 61). Unused: ​Camp, Enticknap, Hilfiker.