Cane scores brace as Anvils win an eight-goal thriller

Oakwood V Crawley Down Gatwick (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195325008
Oakwood V Crawley Down Gatwick (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195325008

Both sides threw caution to the wind in an all-out attacking game and where the art of defending would appear to have been consigned to the grey mists of time long ago.

Crawley Down opened proceedings in this latest goalfest with James Day heading over a Harry Lowe free-kick on six minutes, but just after the Anvils were in front when Sidlesham’s keeper Matt Cohen spilled a previous shot straight to the feet of Sam Cane who duly obliged.

More chances came with Andy Goodwin firing over from 25 yards, and Cane set-up Oli Leslie to fire straight at the keeper, but the tall striker got his reward on 18 minutes after his initial shot had been pushed out.

Sidlesham midfielder John Phillips fired across the face, and on 34 minutes a Joe Leggett free-kick flew just wide.

But though the visitors were having more of the play, they lacked penetration.

However Phillips had a chance to test Anvil keeper Andy Greaves, but come the last few minutes of the half and the Anvils were rocked by a double whammy from Sidlesham.

The first was a free-kick by Tom Bayley being headed home by Barry McCoy and minutes later the same player became provider for Tom Jeffkins to nod home, to restore parity 2-2 at half-time.

For the second half with Crawley Down attacking the Kop end, the game was continuing to be played up in the air as long punts upfield seemed to become the order of the day.

This was personified on 47 minutes by Andy Goodwin’s lob-shot from 35 yards that deceived keeper Cohen as the shot flew over his head and into the net for 3-2.

Sidlesham continued to push forward with the burly Bayley and Tom Bassil chased anything in sight, thereby stretching the Anvil backline.

And it was the latter Bassil whom no doubt making a mental note of Anvils’ Goodwin goal then had a dip from a similar distance to bring the scores level again.

The visitors responded through a Joe Leggett free-kick and a rasping shot from Bayley just wide with 12 minutes to go.

On 65 minutes it was Anvil bench time, with goalscorers Goodwin and Leslie being replaced by Lee Thomas and Ben Brooker to freshen up the attack and push for the points.

They made the breakthrough with ten minutes to go when as a charge down the right flank by Kieran Greig found Cane in space who in turn had time to jink his way through a massed defence to squeeze the ball home for a 4-3 lead.

And just like buses another came along shortly in the guise of Mike Spence who slotted the ball home for the Anvils’ fifth goal with five minutes left.

Crawley Down: Greaves, Cooney, Lowe, Goodwin (Thomas), Dixon, Day, Spence, Brown, Leslie (Brooker), Cane (Walshe), Greig

Unused sub: Gannon

Attendance; 42

Man of the Match: Sam Cane