Icklesham Casuals 1 Rye Town 5
Rye Town have taken top spot in the ESFL division one with maximum points on goal difference after two games, having beaten Icklesham Casuals 5-1 at their recreation ground on Saturday afternoon.
Rob “legohead” Wilson has had a week to remember. Named as man of the match in the first game of the season, he welcomed to the world his beautiful daughter Mila on the morning of Tuesday September 6 only to put the cherry on the cake last Saturday, September 10 scoring two bullet headers in the Rye Town win.
With skipper Sammy Henham unavailable Luke Willis was the captain for the day, Richard “Alfie” Weller (or Richard Wilson on the league website) started in attack alongside Charlie Stevens. Big Frank Walker and Rob Levett also had a shirt in the first eleven having been on the bench previously.
Rye adopted a new style of play which entailed keeping the ball by getting the right players on the ball, which at times caused their biggest threat as they kept losing the ball by overplaying at the back without moving it forward quick enough. This enabled Icklesham to have a few shots at the Rye goal.
The trio of Levett, Foulkes and Hurley all battled hard in central midfield. Foulkes who was named Pikes Cleaning Man of the Match at the end, did keep coming too deep to collect the ball which reduced Levetts space in the defensive midfielder role.
With 15 minutes played Levett found a bit of space releasing Weller who expertly diverted the ball into Stevens stride who cooly hit the back of the net 1-0 to Rye.
The two acrobats Ben Heffernan and George Ball had plenty of space. Ball used his well whilst Heffernan had a day to forget, after being marked out of the game by Ickleshams 51 year old full back.
Rye went 2-0 up inside 37 minutes Wilson getting the ball placed onto his forehead finding the net, well his celebration was decent he sucked his thumb relating to his newborn.
Half time came and the message was clear from Wall do not take our foot off the gas keep playing and working hard and the result will come, wise words and Rye started brightly Weller being released on goal only to be denied well by the keeper. Only 30 seconds later the same player raced through lobbing the oncoming goalie , with two defenders on the line the ball trickled over the line.
The next 20 minutes Rye switched off, stopped working and frustrations set which infuriated the managers and was the subject of a grilling after the game. Nevertheless, Rye didn’t concede and they actually scored through Stevens claiming his second, a brilliant strike from way outside the box wrong footing the keeper. 4-0 to Rye
Suspension bound Hurley was removed from play, Chris Gould entering the field. A positive impact and a change that assisted Rye. Foulkes showed no signs of tiring – energy levels high working hard once again .
Levett and Stevens got replaced by the returning Justin Wall and Andy Wallbank, two players who contributed massively so the subs had big boots too fill.
After 5 games Shane Ridgers finally conceded a goal, after a defensive mixup allowed Ickleshams Val Newman a free strike at goal 4-1 after 72 minutes.
Rye created many half chances with Weller smashing the bar and Ball hitting the bar in the exact same spot, but the easiest chance fell to Wallbank, Heffernan wriggled out of his defenders pocket brilliantly getting into the opponents box passing sideways to the unmarked Wallbank who stroked the ball straight at the keeper.
Icklesham’s goalkeeper played really well, keeping the score as it was yet he was helpless with the last touch of the game from the header off Wilson into the roof of the net.
A win and 3 points. Some good points and some bad points but two wins out of two is the start wanted for Town.
Rye Town Team: Ridgers, Wilson, Willis, Walker, Levett, (Wall) Hurley, (Gould) Foulkes, Heffernan, Ball, Weller, Stevens, (Wallbank) subs not used Walker & Hibbs
This weekend (Saturday September 17) sees Rye Town FC’s first home game as they entertain Jc Tackleway at the Salts, kick off is 3pm.
Photos: Charmaine Ridgers