I travelled with my eldest son, after work on a cold Friday evening, down to Crabtree Park, the home of Wick FC, near Littlehampton in Sussex.
Wick FC and Mile Oak FC play at the tenth level of the English football pyramid, in the Southern Combination League Division 1. The table, prior to kick off, showed that Wick FC were securely in mid table in eleventh place with 34 points from 25 games, with Mile Oak FC, two places but eleven points behind in thirteenth place with 23 points in 24 games.
Connor Bull has top scored for Wick this season with 16 goals in 25 games. Ben Gray has 12 goals in 25 just behind Bull. Mile Oak’s top goal scorer is Harry Furnell with 11 goals so far, in 20 games.
Crabtree Park holds 2000 fans at capacity, however the record attendance for Wick FC is 138, back in 2006. The average attendance in 14 home games this season has been 47. The ground is not large but boasts a seated and covered stand which holds about 100 seats.
The game started with both sides evenly matched. Passing was inconsistent, with both sides lacking the finesse of a decent final touch.
Mile Oak took the lead when they were awarded a penalty on 21 minutes, after a late tackle in the area brought a foul when Enzo Benn was felled. The penalty was fired home confidently, by the visitor’s number 4, Zack Haulkham.
At half time the score remained 0-1 to the visitors, with Mile Oak FC looking the more likely to score again,
After 58 minutes it was Wick FC however, who drew level, with a goal stabbed home by number 9, Dave Crouch.
Just two minutes later and with all the momentum in their favour, Wick FC took the lead when top scorer Connor Bull slotted the ball home to make it 2-1.
For the remainder of the half both sides pushed for a goal but as the referee blew the final whistle, the Wick fans celebrated a hard earned 2-1 victory.