Hassocks 2, St Francis Rangers 0: Death and Gault goals give Hassocks local derby win

Hassocks v St Francis at The Beacon
Hassocks v St Francis at The Beacon

Goals from Michael Death and Phil Gault saw off a spirited challenge from bottom club St Francis Rangers at the Beacon.

Relegated Rangers were without manager Joe Monks and assistant Paul Whelan. The Barnet academy pair wre in Paris on a scouting mission.

Robert Ward and Andrew ‘Ginge’ Brown from the youth set-up were in charge for the night. The young Rangers side included seven players from the youth and u21 teams.

Phil Gault was on the bench, returning after receiving a horrific gash on his leg in the away trip to Eastbourne Town.

Rangers keeper Grady Pummell was called into action early on when he saved from Jonno Melia.

He again saved well after a superb 25 yard volley from Michael Death on 35 minutes but they were the only two real chances in a frsutrating goalless half for both sides.

Death was given a yellow card for a late challenge and Luke Akehurst was replaced by James Oliver.

But as first halves go it was not great.

Both sides came out looking more determined in the second half b ut it was Hassocks who looked more dangerous coming forward.

And Death came close in the 56th minute when he hit the bar after great work from Brad Bant.

But Death only had to wait a few more minutes to break the deadlock. The impressive Oliver showed determination and skill to break into the box and he laid the ball off to Death, who drove home with the outside of his boot.

Hassocks deserved the lead and Death always looked the most likely.

Gault was then introduced the action, replacing Liam Benson, as Hassocks looked to extend their lead.

Melia was causing trouble down the right hand side and he nearly found Gault but his cross was intercepted.

But spirited Rangers had not given up. On the 73rd minute they produced two great chances.

Johnstone sent Jordan Littlecot through but skipper Marsh timed his tackle to perfection. And from the resulting corner Johnstone himself had a free header by he was denied by Alex Harris in the Hassocks goal.

But on 77 minutes it was effectively game over as Gault found himself clear and he easily slotted home.

Rangers still battled though and almost pulled one back when sub Ben Haskell crossed for Harry Collins but the ball evaded him with the goal at his mercy.

Hassocks travel Worthing United on Saturday while St Francis host Lancing.

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