An unfamiliar league at a very familiar venue. This was my first visit to East Sussex Football League – an oversight for which I really should apologise – but it was at the Polegrove where I’ve already seen Bexhill United and Bexhill United Ladies several times. And the old ground played host today to what some commentators might call a proper showing of good, honest football. By which I mean: there were hard tackles, competitive play, obscene attempts to fool the ref, several dodgy calls and a game whose result was in doubt right until the end. I loved it.
For those needing a frame of reference, we’re officially below the level 11 formal base of the English pyramid but with teams that could easily gain promotion and compete at that level. Why, with a dozen or so promotions, Manchester United could be the visitors. It’s good to dream.
Rye took the lead early in the first half but were pegged back by a determined Bexhill side before half time. A soft (but technically correct) gave the home side a 2-1 lead in the second half, which they held until the finish, overcoming a very close call that saw a late equaliser disallowed for offside. Bexhill deserved the win as they seemed to have more of the possession and their attacks were more probing; Rye will feel gutted they blew a lead and came so close to a leveller.
All in all, a good afternoon of football. I took the camera along and some photos are here. I shan’t leave it so long before venturing to the ESFL again.