FERRING Football Club manager Stuart Maltman could not speak highly enough of his side as frustration turned to delight in his side’s second-half comeback on Saturday.
From 2-0 down early in the second half, Ferring fought back through goals from Barney Boutwood and Chad Milner and had the chances to pinch all three points in the closing stages.
Maltman said: “The first half was the most frustrating half in my life and then the way we came back against a very good side in the second half was probably one of the best halves of my life.
“In the first half, they were all over us, they have some decent players in the likes of Paul Elliott and Darren Annis and they ripped us to shreds.
“I can’t praise the players enough, though, with how they fought back. Last year, at 2-0 down we would have crumbled, and to fight back against Billingshurst, who will be up there fighting for promotion, is excellent.”
Ferring fell 1-0 down on seven minutes when a sloppy mistake allowed Ash Lewis to fire the visitors ahead.
Knowing they needed to improve after the break, things got worse before they got better for Ferring as another mistake five minutes into the second period saw Annis notch a second for Billingshurst.
Boutwood reduced the arrears on 72 minutes when he volleyed home from Scott Banfield’s cross. The defender started a move from left-back and beat two men before superbly crossing for his team-mate.
This gave Ferring the boost they needed and the in-form Milner levelled on 79 minutes with another fine finish.After Arron Farrier’s shot was saved and only half-cleared, Milner fired a screamer into the top right-hand corner from outside the box.
After that, it was all Ferring as they struck a post and Farrier went close to securing all three points.
Maltman added: “In the end, it felt like we had won but 2-2 was probably a fair result for both teams, although, really, we could have pinched it at the end. We’ll take confidence into our game with Uckfield Town now and we owe them one for last season.
“Chad is on fire at the moment and has had a few teams looking at him and a few offers, but he is enjoying it here at Ferring, even though we are in Division 3.
“Hopefully, though, we can get promoted this season and show people what we can really do.”