No magic wand for battle weary Stringers

Kenny McCreadie

Kenny McCreadie

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By Micah Price

Hailsham Town slipped to their fourth consecutive loss as they were comfortably beaten by Pagham at The Beaconfield on Tuesday night.

Scott Murfin scored twice within five first-half minutes to deflate the Stringers in Division One of the Sussex County League. Another home defeat frustrated boss Kenny McCreadie who remains concerned by his side’s defending.

He said, “We’re assisting the opposition each week and it’s 12 points that’s cost us.”

The Stringers have not kept a clean sheet in nine league games and went behind in the 17th minute. Murfin converted from six yards after evading his marker from a cross down the left flank. This advantage was swiftly doubled five minutes later. The striker was afforded too much time outside the area and his shot deflected past the hapless Russ Tanner.

Hailsham improved after half time as they pressed their opponents higher up the pitch, salvaging some pride following a disappointing opening period. Similarly to Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Horsham YCMA, Hailsham failed to create any goalscoring opportunities against third-placed Pagham.

Although McCreadie has 24-goal striker Danny Leach at his disposal, he believes his forwards are not sharp enough after their fourth game in eight days. “The defence gets slated, but up front there was nothing there. They just look jaded,” he admitted. Due to limited resources, the manager does not have the luxury of making wholesale changes to overturn his team’s poor form.

On Saturday they travel to fourth-placed East Preston. McCreadie is annoyed by a shortage of options to freshen up his weary squad.

He said, “Every football club we play has five substitutes, I’m lucky to have four. We need to change it, but I don’t have a magic wand.”