Hurstpierpoint Reserves 4-3 Ardingly Seconds

A dip in form has seen the Blue Dogs Reserves slip in the table in recent weeks, however, knowing that they had beaten this Ardingly side 7-1 at the start of the season the boys came into the game confidently.

That confidence was quickly dented as within a minute Ardingly had headed home the opener after a very poor piece of defending from everyone involved left an unmarked man to nod in.

Adam Cornwall soon equalised for his fourth goal of the season from close range. A goal mouth scramble and deflected effort from Ross Shorter again left a simple nod in to finish.

Hurst were once again undone by a set piece – this time a free kick from deep was unclaimed and not attacked well enough leaving an easy chance for the Ardingly striker to finish.

Dan Tyler and Alex Williams, Williams wearing the armband in the absence of the injured Blunnie, put in some big tackles to liven the game up before a typically quick footed dribble put Shorter in to equalise once more.

After the half the effect of the heavy pitch was clear to see on the performance of both sides and changes were needed and executed. Luke Martin, Michael McFadden and returning club legend Stuart Ritchie came on for Stoneham, Stefano and Cornwall to inject some energy into the game.

Martin took no time to announce himself on the pitch, scoring a curling effort from just outside the box with his fifth touch to make it 3-2.

The possession stats favoured Hurst but very little end product meant the score stayed at 3-2 for a long period. With just over five minutes to play Hurst conceded a penalty that was dispatched comfortably.

It took another penalty down the other end to decide the game – Hayter was through on goal before being fouled. Ross Shorter stepped up and predictably placed the ball to his right to win the game 4-3.

Man of the match: James Davis

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