Dowden downs Barnham as Reds roar again
Victories for Bosham, Stedham and Chapel, a draw for Lavant but a defeat for Wittering United - all feature in our latest round-up from our local West Sussex Football League teams
Bosham 2 Barnham Res 0
Bosham continued their unbeaten league run as two goals from stalwart Graeme Dowden sealed the points against a side who started the match just a place below the Reds.
The Robins welcomed back Jack Hancock from long-term injury and Dean Ayling with a reshuffle at the back needed because of the absence of injured Ben Blanshard.
Bosham had the Yellows on the back foot from early on. Stuart Hazelgrove, the Barnham keeper, showed excellent awareness to keep Bosham out as the likes of Neil Redman and Joe Hancock tested his resolve.
A chance came after 20 minutes when Hancock was upended in the box and a penalty awarded. Hancock took the spot-kick but Hazelgrove made an excellent save.
After half an hour the deadlock was broken when Dowden fired in a rocket of a free-kick from almost 30 yards, giving Hazelgrove no chance.
Dowden and Redman missed golden chances to extend the lead before the break.
The second half was generally a repeat of the first with the Robins dominating.
Shortly before the hour mark Dowden grabbed his second to double the Reds’ lead. Andy Probee produced a lovely ball over the top of the defence and Dowden exquisitely chipped Hazelgrove.
Later Hancock found himself through thanks to the acute awareness of Tom Davies, but Hazelgrove thwartd him.
Late on Barnham’s Adam Rose saw his penalty well-saved by Simon Hasted to seal an important three points.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Brett, Davies, Jack Hancock, Joe Hancock, Docherty, Probee, Dowden, Redman, Wilson, Ayling. Subs: Evans, Ash, Greenhalf, Redman.
Cowfold 1 Lavant 1
Cowfold might feel disappointed they didn’t take all three points in this encounter - especially as they hit the Lavant woodwork three times.
The match settled round the home side having most of the possession and applying pressure against a well-organised Lavant defence, with the visitors content to strike with counterattacks.
Cowfold’s Nigel Smith, always a threat, nearly broke through early on but a resolute tackle by Jon Wright forced him to slice his shot wide.
The visitors went close with a Mike Neville–James Sandford move. If Sandford had not cut his toe-nails that morning he might have connected with Mike Bartley’s cross to give Lavant the lead.
Ironically, it was the immediate counter to this that saw Cowfold edge ahead when Mike Nash’s shot hit the net on the half-hour.
Three minutes later, Cowfold keeper Matt Beck tipped Louis Weller’s shot over the bar.
In the second half, Cowfold increased the pressure but Lavant stood firm and soon had the home side pinned in their own half.
It was fitting that when Dave McClean fed Bartley, the striker ,in a repeat of the first-half move, teed up Sandford to level the score ten minutes from time.
LAVANT: Sanson; Coe, Purgavie, Wright, Lyttle; Neville, McClean, Stevens, Weller; Bartley, Sandford. Subs: Gabb, Holmes.
Wittering Utd 2 Ockley 3
Centenary Cup R2
Holders Wittering came up against a very resilient young team and found lady luck wasn’t smiling on them.
The home side might have thought playing lower-league opposition would be easy but this certainly wasn’t the case.
The first goal came on 13 minutes. A cross from deep was claimed by Ash Rochester only for him to spill the ball.
His momentum meant he landed on the Ockley forward’s legs and surprisingly the ref awarded the away side a penalty that they duly dispatched.
On 18 minutes Tom Kelly put Joe Jefkins in one-on-one with the keeper. Jefkins got to the ball first but was scythed down by the keeper.
A penalty was awarded but the keeper wasn’t sent off - and he went on to produce a man-of-the-match performance, to the annoyance of the Warriors. In fact he immediately made the Warriors pay when he saved Barry McCoy’s penalty.
The equaliser came on 27 minutes when pressure from Alan Sheppard and Kelly set up Darran Cox, who controlled the ball with his thigh and volleyed home from close range.
Ockley took the lead by dispossessing Greg Robinson from a free-kick and launching a lightning-quick breakaway ending in a Ockley forward firing low past Rochester.
Wittering conceded a sloppy goal early in the second half with the Warriors gifting the away side a simple tap-in – then a minute later they lost centre-half Martin Talman after he turned his ankle.
Manager Gary Jefkins switched to 3-4-3 with McCoy up top and Jamie Smith replacing the injured Talman.
Wittering did pull one back on 63 minutes when a deep corner from Robinson was volleyed back into the box by Smith and turned in from close range by Joe Jefkins.
Man of the match McCoy and Tom Jefkins went close but the holders were knocked out.
WITTERING: Rochester, Stent, Cowell, Talman (Smith), McCoy, Sheppard, J Jefkins (Barnes), T Jefkins, Robinson, Cox, Kelly.
Stedham United 3 Village of Ditchling 2 (AET)
Sussex Junior Cup
Stedham ensured Ditchling’s 80-mile round trip was a miserable one when they continued their unbeaten start to the season and took the honours in the second round of the cup.
Both teams had early chances but Stedham took the lead after 20 minutes when striker Alex Jones latched on to a through-ball and his strike looped over the visiting keeper.
The lead lasted ten minutes before Stedham paid the price for giving the ball away and were slow to react to a deep cross where a Ditchling player slotted home from eight yards.
Stedham keeper Dan Wells put in a man-of-the-match performance and denied Ditchling’s one-on-one chances to keep his side on equal terms, and Stedham took the lead after winger Matt Tilbury charged into the box only to be impeded by a defender.
Team-mate Alex Jones reacted fastest to the loose ball and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Ditchling came out with intent in the second half and piled the pressure on. They got the equaliser when Stedham defender Craig Thorpe was judged to have fouled the on-rushing Ditchling striker and a penalty was awarded. The Ditchling captain sent the keeper the wrong way.
More great saves from Wells and missed opportunities from Stedham meant the game went to extra-time.
Ditchling were starting to tire and Stedham’s superior fitness was beginning to show.
The home side were rewarded five minutes from the end when left winger Matt Walters rounded the Ditchling keeper to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Petworth Res 1 Chapel 4
Division 5 Cup
When you combine a cup match with a derby, you expect a lively game - and the spectators were not disappionted. Chapel took the lead on five minutes when Tom Kaighan finally forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.
For the next 25 minutes the play went from end to end with both sides failing to convert good chances, but on 33 minutes Ben Marriner sprung the offside trap and chipped the keeper for Chapel’s second.
On 41 minutes Aaron Carver used his pace to get on to a through-ball and score the third.
Petworth, with the wind in their favour after the break, were stronger in the second half, but they couldn’t beat the Chapel defence.
The game settled into a well-fought cup tie and the result was in doubt until the 78th minute when Aaron Carver once again outpaced the home defence and rounded the keeper to make it four.
Petworth never gave up and were rewarded with a goal in the 82nd minute.
In the dying minutes substitute Josh Warren was carried off following a reckless challenge.