Swans boost survival hopes with derby win over Steyning

Action from the two sides last encounter in March, which Steyning won 1-0
Action from the two sides last encounter in March, which Steyning won 1-0

Storrington picked up what could prove an extremely important three points in their bid to avoid the relegation places by beating nearest rivals Steyning on Tuesday night.

A relieved Swans boss Nigel Dyer said afterwards: “We needed that to be honest. I thought we deserved the win and scored some decent goals.

“It all got a bit nervy after they scored but credit to the players for holding on and picking up the three points.”

A bobbly and extremely grassy pitch greeted the teams at The Recreation Ground for this local derby. With Swans looking worriedly over their shoulder, just a couple of points above the drop zone, and Steyning seemingly stuck in mid-table, it was the hosts who had greater incentive to win this encounter.

And so it proved, although this match did take 45 minutes to really get going. The first half was littered with mistakes as both sides struggled to string any meaningful moves together.

The first meaningful chance came the way of visiting striker and former Swan Kristian Harding, as he got beyond youthful centre half Callum Bester, but the striker’s shot was hacked away by Gary Elliott in the home goal.

Bester almost opened the scoring himself as he was left unchallenged from a corner, but his header was tipped over the bar by Ben Rose on 39 minutes and Rose was on hand to save John Langridge’s effort three minutes later.

The second period began with an immediate substitution from Swans’ boss Nigel Dyer, as he put Ollie Setchell on the right wing, and this paid immediate dividends when John Rhodie found Setchell, who crossed for Richard Ayres to divert the ball goalwards on 47 minutes, with Rose helpless.

The hosts doubled their lead on 54 minutes as Setchell again crossed from the right, this time Langridge being allowed to chest down on the edge of the six-yard box and volley home.

Steyning should have pulled a goal back immediately but Harding failed to hit the target when well placed, and just beyond the hour mark Harding saw his goalbound shot well blocked by James Naylor.

Town did halve the deficit in the 78th minute though as Rob Clarke raced through and slotted home to set up a frantic last 12 minutes for Swans.

The points were wrapped up with a minute of normal time remaining with skipper Iain Jarvie heading home a Will Garrett free kick.

Steyning assistant boss Ryan Andrews added: “I thought we did alright in the first half and matched them, but we didn’t turn up in the second.

“This keeps happening and it’s something we really need to work on as it’s a lack of consistency and concentration that keeps costing us.”

Storrington: Elliott, Minter, Naylor, Pickford, Bester, Rhodie (Simms 70), Matthews (Setchell 46), Jarvie, Ayres (Robertshaw 88), Langridge, Garrett.

Steyning: Rose, Early, Christian, Dodds, O Bukleb (Tower 73), K Bukleb (Hinton 70), Harris, Shuga’a, Clarke, Harding, Elms.