Sunday, 4 December 2011

Selsey 2 v 0 Crowborough Athletic

Saturday 3rd December 2011
Sussex County League Division 1
High Street Ground, Selsey
Admission: £5.00
Programme: 50p
Attendance: 84
Match Rating: 3

With my original plan of attending the Salisbury v Grimsby Town FA Cup match thwarted by failing to wake up in time - it turned out that this was not necessarily a bad thing, as that match ended goalless - I turned to my back-up plan of ticking off my last senior ground in the Sussex County League and a trip to what is something of an outpost on the south coast.

Having arrived at Chichester rail station, I then caught a bus from the adjacent bus station for the 40 minute bus journey to Selsey town centre, with the High Street Ground just couple of minutes walk from the bus stop, and located adjacent to Budgens supermarket. The ground has "bog standard county league ground" written all over it - does the job, but has very little character or endearing qualities. On one length of the pitch there is a stand with two rows of seating, with a row of standing to the rear. On the other side is the clubhouse and changing rooms, with a tea bar tacked on to one side closest to the entrance. Around most of the rest of the ground is just hard standing. Full compliments to Selsey for the programme though.In itself it is nothing special - although it covers the basics very well and is far better than some of this level - but very well priced at 50p, a far more realistic and justifiable price than what is usually charged at other County League grounds these days.

This match would be between two teams occupying the middle of the table, with Selsey in fourteenth place in the twenty team league - but have played less games than almost every other team, and Crowborough Athletic in eleventh place and seven points better off than Selsey, although they have played five games more and having already played 22 games are already well over half way through their fixtures. It would be fair to say Selsey have not been in the best of form of late, losing their last three league games as well as going out of the league cup to local rivals Pagham. As for Crowborough, recent games have been somewhat turbulent, winning last time out 4-0 at home to Worthing United, after losing 1-6 at home to Rye United in the league cup and before that picking up just one point from four games. The two sides have already met twice this season, both times at Crowborough - Crowborough winning 3-1 in the league, the same scoreline with which Selsey won in the Sussex Senior Cup. It was interesting to note that the manager of Selsey was Adam Hinshelwood, who played 100 games for Brighton but was forced to retire early from the game and is now aged just 27.

The first half was an even affair, with both sides having reasonable chances, although it was the home side who went into the lead on 26 minutes when a scramble in the penalty area - with various bodies on the ground - ended with the ball being poked over the line by Max Thoms. On 42 minutes, Selsey doubled their lead, when a well-played throughball was taken towards goal and slotted calmly under the keeper by Robert Wimble. The 2-0 scoreline was rather harsh on Crowborough who had some chances themselves to get on the scoresheet, most notably on the stroke of half time when a Selsey defender headed over his own goalkeeper and the ball only just dropped wide of the post and from the resulting corner, a thumping header by Dave Adams, Crowborough's player-manager, went wide, with the referee blowing the half-time whistle immediately afterwards.

The second half was rather disappointing, as Crowborough never threatened to mount a comeback, with sloppy passing and an apparent lack of ambition thwarting any hopes of mounting an attack, Selsey looked extremely comfortable and always looked far more the likely to score, but in the end 2-0 was how it remained.

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