STEYNING Town Football Club manager Richard Whittington says the club is buzzing after their 4-1 win at local rivals Mile Oak on Saturday.
It was contrasting emotions for the two Whittington brothers on Saturday as Richard’s Steyning side cruised to victory at Anthony’s Mile Oak in County League Division 2.
Richard called his side’s performance virtually perfect as they won for the second successive match, while Anthony was left to reflect on what he called one of his team’s worst performances for a long time.
Oak had won 4-0 when the teams met earlier in the season but, this time, Steyning led 4-0 at half-time.
Striker Dave Francis started the goal-spree on 19 minutes with a powerful finish after good work by Ryan DeFreitas on the right flank.
The two players linked up again for the second goal on the half-hour. This time Francis played in DeFreitas, who smashed a superb, angled left-foot drive in off the far post.
The goal of the game came three minutes later when Chris Duffett produced a moment of magic. There appeared to be no danger as the midfielder raced onto an Adam Burton flick down the right wing but he somehow looped a dipping volley over Oak keeper Aaron Stenning and into the top corner from an almost impossible angle.
Francis then bagged the fourth and his second of the game five minutes before the break with a pile-driver from the edge of the box after linking up with strike-partner Burton.
Shell-shocked Mile Oak, who had 12 players unavailable, reduced the arrears early in the second half when Tony Burnett capitalised on a defensive mix-up to slot into the bottom corner.
Paul Eaton then had a shot saved by Steyning stand-in keeper Lewis Levoi as Town comfortably held on for all three points.
Steyning have now lost just one of their last six league games and their boss Richard Whittington said: “It was virtually the perfect performance from us, we were fantastic. We played with confidence, our work-rate was high, we played with energy and tempo and our desire to win was superb. I can’t praise the players enough.
“We are not getting too carried away with ourselves as we’ve only won two games but, at the same time, everyone can see we are heading in the right direction and we’re enjoying it.
“We had a difficult start to the season but now the whole club is buzzing. The players are loving playing, everyone wants the club to keep progressing and it is a great place to be at the moment. We can’t wait for the next game to come along.”
Oak manager Anthony Whittington said: “We were awful, their outfield player went in goal and only had one save to make all game. Our attitude in the warm-up was wrong, our attitude in the game was wrong and it was the worst performance from us that I can remember in a long, long time.
“We thought we only had to turn up to win and I told the players beforehand that Steyning are improving and have been playing well, but they ignored that advice and I’m very disappointed.”
Oak host Bexhill in the league on Saturday, while Steyning travel to Oakwood.
MILE OAK: Stenning; Paine, Stephens, Marsh, Austin-Slade; Howard, W.Whittington, Pulling, Gould; Eaton, Burnett. Subs: Gillingham (W.Whittington 65), Jenman (Burnett 76), A.Whittington.
STEYNING: Levoi; Dawes, Ford, Bowles, Pratt; Harris, Hourigan, C.Duffett, DeFreitas, Francis, A.Burton. Subs: S.Burton (Harris 70), Pargeter (Francis 75), Gurney.