Luis Freitas felt his side were ‘worthy winners’ as ten-man Billingshurst returned to winning ways with a 2-1 home victory over Mile Oak in Division 1 on Saturday.
With all the action taking place in the first half, an Adam Dine penalty gave Oak the lead but two goals from Kai Bichard and topscorer Jordan Stallibrass saw ‘Hurst record their first win since October 6.
“We had a more solid performance this week with a change in formation and also an enforced change of ‘keeper due to injury.
“Our reserve ‘keeper Conor (Blanchard) was between the sticks and he put in a credible performance.
“We made things difficult for ourselves by giving away a soft penalty and rather than being patient we tried to play the killer pass.
“However, although we could have been 2-0 down, we should have scored when Jordan broke through but he wasted a good opportunity.
“As the half came to a close we were beginning to put together some great football. In the second half we worked hard and kept good shape and Conor Blanchard was solid in goal. We were worthy winners.”
FA Trophy: Horsham and Bath City set for Sunday showdown as Di Paola says players are giving everything for the club | Loxwood 'probably deserved something out of the game' in defeat to Lancing | Everett praises 'clinical' Storrington in Worthing United victory
Oak took the lead on 21 minutes as Dine tucked away his penalty after a foul on Jack Arnold but Stallibrass should have equalised ten minutes later but his shot went wide.
‘Hurst did eventually level on 38 minutes as Chris Spiers was sent racing clear on the right and his pinpoint cross found Bichard who headed home from six-yards out.
Six minutes later the visitors went ahead. Bichard outpaced Oak’s Joe Hall on the right and his cross was swept home by Stallibrass to give ‘Hurst the lead.
Stallibrass was then sent-off for Freitas’ side in the second half for a second booking but ‘Hurst did have a chance to add a third, however the attempt was well taken by Aaron Stenning in the Oak goal.
In the dying minutes of the game, ‘keeper Stenning went up for a set-piece and appeared to be hauled down but the referee awarded a free-kick against the Oak stopper.
‘Hurst travel to fourth-from-bottom Worthing United on Saturday.
Freitas said: “Worthing United, like all senior sides, will pose a difficult challenge particularly as our away form has not been good.
“It would be a good time to change that.”
Billingshurst: Blanchard, Bryant, Simester, Da Silva, Rendall, Dugamin, Spiers, Chadwick, Stallibrass, Bichard, Tilley. Subs: Touahri, Bowles, Kabogoza, Luzinda.