Bosham’s run in the Sussex Intermediate Cup came to a soggy end as Lewes under-21s eventually beat them 3-1 on the 3G surface at The Rookery.
Bosham went into the game with a lack of match time behind them through the recent inclement weather, and knew the task before them would be tough.
Head coach Graham Vick rallied the troops in the dressing room before kick-off and Bosham started strongly.
Louis Bell was first to test the keeping skills of Nathan Stroomberg and brought out the best in the Lewes keeper with a rasping effort that the keeper tipped over the bar.
Graeme Dowden went very close with an effort from a tight angle and Jake Lafferty almost opened the scoring but was denied by a well-timed challenge from Jack Troak.
Lewes were struggling to find their feet and Bosham keeper Kieran Magee was having an easy half with the Reds back-line, including the excellent Callum Fewell, having no problem thwarting advances on their goal.
The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes and it was the Robins who took a deserved lead. Lewes failed to deal with a corner and the ball came out to captain James Wilson, who needed no second invitation to fire an exquisite half-volley back through the crowd and into the bottom corner.
The Reds could have doubled their lead before the break but their finishing let them down so the hosts were still very much alive at the break.
After a minor delay, waiting for the floodlights to come on, the second period got under way.
Lewes started to see a lot more of the ball and the Bosham defence began to creak and the pressure mounted. Jack Whitmore went close when his effort was deflected wide by Ben Blanshard to keep Bosham in front.
But the U21s’ energy and the lack of Bosham match fitness told in the final quarter.
First, George Laughlin rounded off a swift counter-attack, breaking into the area and firing low passed the outstretched hand of Magee.
Soon Lewes broke again – swiftly – and Ivean Strong slammed the ball home at the second attempt following a low cross from Leon Dramis.
Finally Okwute Izuchukwu got the goal his strong game deserved as he powered through an increasingly dis-spirited defence to slot home to end the match as a contest.
The heavens opened leaving both sides soggy but it was the Lewes under-21s celebrating their passage to the semi-finals.
BOSHAM: Magee, Bulbeck, Redman, Fewell, Blanshard, Docherty, Bell, Wilson, Lafferty, Giambelardini, Dowden. Subs: Hillier, Probee.
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