One man tore the heart out of the Hornets on Saturday.
The Cookie monster scored all four goals in what looked like – on paper at least – a demolition job by the Old Bexhillians in front of their delirious home fans. But it was far from that.
The H’s had a decent amount of ball and held the stronger OB team at bay until the last kick of the first half. In fact, the H’s dominated much of the opening 20 and the Bexillians were shocked. If Deadeye had brought his shooting boots it might have been a different game altogether.
Posh, Chairs, Matty Longshanks and Chrissy all had shots on goal in the first 20 but couldn’t find the target. At the other end, The Cat was flinging himself around with no regard for his age and size and made a string of impressive saves.
Puffing Paul Hutton was tasked with marking dangerman Steve Over and he did an amazing job. It’s fair to say Paul had him in his pocket. At this stage, Brian was playing deep and only troubled the Cat once, the keeper making a great stop down to his left.
But then – disaster struck. Puffing pulled a muscle and had to go off. On came Welsh international wing back Touchline Mike and he was forced into an alien game of man-marking. He coped well with Mr Over but when OB manager Duncan changed things up and put Cookie up front it was the end of TLM’s nice day out.
Cookie turned Mike inside out and with the last kick of the half scored to put Bexhill in one-nil up.
The match was still not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination. Chairs was playing well in midfield and Matty was a demon on the right wing. But try as they might they just couldn’t get Deadeye the ball he needed.
Cookie started where he left off in the second half with another turn that left Touchline wondering what he had done to deserve it. The Cat could get nowhere near the resulting shot. 2-0 Bexhill.
Cookie’s third was a carbon copy of his second and the Hornets breathed a huge sigh of relief when he went off to recharge his batteries. The Cat was called into action with a couple more good saves before the Hornets won a penalty. It was a slim chance to get back in the game but Deadeye was foiled by a great save from the keeper with no name. It was not Chrissy’s afternoon. Actually, the Hornets never let their heads drop and with Riddler and Legendary Rog on, continued to create chances.
The best move of the entire match came from a Cat roll-out to Riddler, to Chairs, a lovely ball to Rog and a superb shot from Longshanks which beat the keeper but thumped off the bar for a goal kick. Rested, Cookie returned and after one effort where he unselfishly let a team mate hammer in the final nail of the coffin (only for the Cat to spoil the party again) he then took control once more and scored his fourth with a couple of minutes left to play. A hat trick inside 15 minutes is a marvellous thing to behold in anybody’ book so Cookie deserves high praise. He was good when he played for Hastings last season – he is a much better player now.
Man of the match: Brian Cook. Simply unstoppable and an honourable mention for Puffing who was a towering force at the back.