Swans overcome adverse weather and determined opponents for win

W07240H14-FootballStorrington''Football. Sussex Division League. Storrington v Saltdeen. Action from the match.
W07240H14-FootballStorrington''Football. Sussex Division League. Storrington v Saltdeen. Action from the match.

Storrington got the better of hailstorms, strong winds and finally their opponents in the only Sussex County League fixture played this weekend.

The Swans went behind early to Saltdean United and faced an uphill task as the heavens opened ten minutes into the contest.

W07239H14-FootballStorrington''Football. Sussex Division League. Storrington v Saltdeen. Action from the match.

W07239H14-FootballStorrington''Football. Sussex Division League. Storrington v Saltdeen. Action from the match.

But they fought back admirably, Richard Ayres equalising from the penalty spot and teenager Callum Bester scoring twice in a superb man of the match performance.

Storrington also had their defence to thank for holding firm under intense Saltdean pressure for much of the second half, and the visitors will have been frustrated to leave with no points.

Despite the awful weather that has played havoc with Sussex football all year, the pitch appeared to be in surprisingly good condition for the clash between two teams at the wrong end of the table.

Bottom of the league Saltdean started aggressively and capitalised on a lapse of concentration in defence to open the scoring after seven minutes.

A free kick fell to Ryan Walton in space, and he supplied a composed finish.

A furious hailstorm soon after did not help Storrington’s cause, but the pitch remained in a playable condition and the Swans found an equaliser.

Ayres was cynically brought down by Saltdean goalkeeper Jamie Morgan, who was lucky to receive only a yellow card for his angry reaction to the referee’s decision to award a penalty - which was converted by the striker.

The momentum was now with Storrington and Ayres just missed the target when one on one with the keeper.

The Swans took the lead minutes before half time. Will Garrett’s superb run on the left ended with the winger maintaining his balance and supplying a perfect cross for 17-year-old Bester to head home.

Ever-changing conditions were beginning to take their toll on the pitch at the start of the second half, and it was Saltdean who looked certain to score the game’s fourth goal.

But although the visitors improved, they were unable to break through a sturdy Storrington back line.

A deflected Oliver Lee strike flew narrowly over the Swans’ crossbar, and keeper Gary Elliott was called on to save from Sam Partridge.

The game’s pivotal moment came when Saltdean striker Jamie Buckett faced an open goal from the edge of the penalty area but could not hit the target.

Saltdean attacks were beginning to be affected by the rapid deterioration of the Storrington half of the field, and the game was decided by a third goal for the home side with ten minutes to play.

On a rare counter-attack, Ayres slipped a measured pass through to Bester who slotted past the keeper.

In the poor conditions, Saltdean were unable to put any further pressure on the Storrington goal and left the Swans to celebrate a crucial three points.

Storrington: Elliott, Minter (Kingdom), Setchell, Pickford, Jarvie, Rhodie (Linssen), Naylor (Hobden), Giammatei, Bester, Ayres, Garrett.