Cup heartache for Lions, Bosham and Sids... league joy for Blues and Stags

The Blues of Selsey take on Southwick / Picture by Kate Shemilt

The Blues of Selsey take on Southwick / Picture by Kate Shemilt

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Pagham suffered Sussex RUR Cup semi-final heartache.

Making the trip to fellow SCFL Premier Division outfit Crawley Down Gatwick for a last-four tie, Lions were edged out in a five-goal thriller.

Midfield maestro Joe Shelley fired Mark Bennett’s men into a 20th-minute lead. Crawley Down foughtback and levelled nine minutes before the break as it was all square at half-time.

Crawley’s Daniel Sullivan then struck 20 minutes after the restart but Pagham levelled through Kieron Pamment on 75 minutes.

With extra-time looking likely, Crawley booked their spot in the final with a late effort. Sullivan netted for a second time four minutes into stoppage-time as Down ran out 3-2 winners. Pagham host rivals Arundel in the league on Saturday.

Selsey struck twice in the final 15 minutes to edge past Southwick.

Selsey struck twice in the final 15 minutes to edge past Southwick.

Joe Manners and Bradley Dean got the goals as Stephen Bailey’s side secured a third successive Southern Combination League Division 1 win, moving them upto eighth in the table.

A bitterly cold day, plus a heavy pitch and Southwick’s reluctance to get forward made life difficult for Selsey.

Having slugged it out for 75 minutes, Selsey finally broke the deadlock. Manners was on hand to head home from close range to put the home side ahead. Dean drilled home from the edge of the area as Selsey sealed all three points.

Following the win, former Blues player Ryan Morey returned from Pagham.

Gary Norgate hit a hat-trick as Midhurst came from two goals down to beat Bexhill United on Saturday. Efforts from Gordon Cuddington and Connor Robertson in the opening half-hour put United in control. However, Lewis Hamilton struck before the break, then Norgate hit three in the second half, to ensure Stags ran out 4-2 winners in the SCFL Division 1 clash.

Nigel Smith netted a minute from time to dump Sidlesham out of the Sussex Intermediate Cup.

Sids’ fellow Southern Combination League Division 2 opponents Cowfold came from a goal down to run out 3-2 winners in the semi-final tie.

Thomas Jefkins’ ninth-minute effort meant Sidlesham went into the interval a goal to the good.

The second 45 minutes proved to be thrilling, with four goals scored as Sids exited this year’s competition.

Ben Hands levelled the scores two minutes after the restart, before Greg Brabon fired Cowfold ahead for the first time on the hour.

John Phillips’ effort made it 2-2 five minutes from time as extra-time loomed.

However, Smith won it for Cowfold with his strike a minute from time.

Bosham also suffered Sussex Intermediate Cup semi-final misery.

The runaway Southern Combination League Division 2 leaders fell to a surprise 3-2 last-four defeat at league rivals Roffey.

After going behind, Bradley Miles struck to haul Bosham level. However, Harri Nourse and Jamie Wanstall netted before the half was out as Roffey opened up a 3-1 lead.

Alex Barnes pulled one back 20 minutes from time but Robins couldn’t find a late leveller as they fell to a semi-final loss.

Roffey were quick out of the blocks on a wet pitch and went ahead inside nine minutes. Bosham’s backline tried to push out but David Major’s precise pass found Jack Munday - who beat the offside trap - then fired past Kieran Magee. Bosham responded well and were level six minutes later.

Marco Giamberlardini surged towards Roffey’s box, before sending in a teasing cross with Miles on hand to apply the finish.

After getting back into it, poor Robins defending helped Roffey open up a two-goal lead at the interval.

Nourse fired home through a cluster of static Bosham defenders after failing to clear a corner on the half-hour. Roffey then had a third in farcical fashion six minutes before the break.

Pat Bulbeck’s pass back to Magee had a little too much on it, with the ‘keeper slipping as he went to retrieve the ball, allowing Wanstall the easiest of tap-ins.

Barnes thundered home a 25-yard piledriver 20 minutes from time as Robins looked for a way back in. Miles then saw a free-kick deflect off Ben Simester, then appear to go over the line but no goal was given as Bosham were beaten.

BOSHAM: Magee; Probee, Fewell,,Docherty, Bulbeck, Wilson, Barnes, Dowden, Redman, Giambelardini, Miles. Subs: Warren, Lafferty, Bell.