FERRING Football Club leapfrogged Sidlesham into second place in County League Division 3 after a hard-fought victory over their determined opponents on Saturday.
Sidlesham were buoyed by an away victory at leaders Langney the previous week and arrived in confident mood, but Ferring set about their opponents from the kick-off and did not allow the Sidlesham players to settle.
Ferring were rewarded for their good start after 20 minutes when Josh Gibbons sent a superb ball through to Barney Boutwood, who raced clear of the defence to finish clinically into the bottom corner.
The half continued with both sides competing fiercely but chances remained few and far between, with the home side happy to take the narrow lead in to the break.
The second half continued in a similar fashion, with the Ferring defence standing firm, although Charlie Gammons was called upon midway through the half when he produced a brilliant diving save from a well-taken free kick from the edge of the box.
The rest of the game was confined to the midfield area, as the outstanding Boutwood worked tirelessly to pressurise the visiting defenders at every opportunity, ably supported by strike partner Sean O’Reilly.
Despite some late pressure, the home goal was not threatened and Ferring seemed the more likely to add to their slim lead, but failed to capilise on several opportunities when they broke forward, with substitute Owen Cave only denied by a last-ditch challenge late on.
Ferring manager Pete Matthews said: “This was a great result for us. We showed once again that we are now able to compete on a physical level, as well as play our passing game.
“Collectively we worked hard to pressurise our opponents and we were rewarded with another great goal to seal the win.
“We now need to remain focused and, although a typical cliché, we really do need to take each game as it comes.
“We have a tough local derby with Clymping on Saturday followed by a cup semi -final on Tuesday. (against Ifield, at Storrington, 7.15pm kick-off). The results from both games will define the rest of our season”