Simmons says Billingshurst need points quickly after slipping bottom with Southwick defeat
Billingshurst manager Chris Simmons says they need to start turning their games in hand into points quickly after slipping to the bottom of Division 1 on Saturday.
A 3-1 defeat at previous basement boys Southwick mean that Hurst were leapfrogged by their opponents and now prop up the table.
It was Hurst’ first game since January 27, having had 11 out of their last 13 fixtures called off and Simmons admitted a lack of sharpness showed.
A Sam Blundell brace and Befkadu Tekle goal sealed it for the Wickers, although Jordan Stalibrass’ strike did give Hurst hope with the scoreline at 2-1 in the second half.
After getting the match on at Steyning Town’s 3G pitch Simmons said: “I had three players drop out which is disappointing, but this is no excuse we still had a great squad, but we looked short of match fitness, it looked like a pre-season game, players giving the ball away too easily, cramping up and running out of steam.
“Southwick were a much improved team Justin Gregory has signed lots of new players and Blundell made a big difference for them and they probably deserved the win.
“We need to pick ourselves up and go again, we have plenty of games in hand but we need to start turning them into points and it is going to take commitment and effort from the whole squad.”
After a fairly even 20 minutes, Wickers gave a couple of warnings ot going ahead, before new signing Sam Blundell broke the deadlock in the 38th minute.
Having not played for ten weeks, Hurst looked well off the pace and only two minutes later they were caught again by Befkadu Tekle to give his side a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Hurst changed their shape at the break and started the half much brighter, with Ollie Joels causing Southwick problems. Ollie Lambkin had a good free kick well saved by Harrison Hilfiker with nobody was there to tap in the rebound.
On the hour-mark, Jake Chadwick threaded a pass through to substitute Jordan Stalibrass who went on to slot the ball past Hilfiker.
Dave Watts had a headed chance which went over the bar and another free kick from Lambkin went close, but on 74 minutes Southwick broke away and a slip from a Hurst defender left Blundell to score his second and seal the points.
Billingshurst: Matthews, Bradshaw, Simester, Bowles, Joels, Bennett, Copestake, Hancock, Lambkin, Watts, Chadwick Subs: Stalibrass, Bowles, Meech, Powell.