A solitary goal from leading scorer Dave Storey propelled Bosham into the Sussex League Division 3 Cup final at the expense of Ferring at Arundel.
The Robins marksman struck after just six minutes – his 17th of the campaign in all competitions – and that’s how it stayed, setting up a mouthwatering derby with Sidlesham at Pagham on April 22.
Bosham went into the game in need of a confidence-boosting victory after a disappointing end to their league campaign, and despite having put a combined 11 goals past Ferring in their two respective league encounters, they knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy tie.
So it proved, with the Robins made to graft for their place in the final.
They did carve out the better chances and made the perfect start when goalkeeper Kieran Magee launched a long goal-kick down-field which Storey raced on to and comfortably dispatched past Ferring keeper Richard Branson.
Marco Giambelardini should have made it two as Bosham forced the early tempo, with Branson making a good diving stop.
Sean Harris-Hardy nearly levelled with a long-range effort that a static Magee was thankful to see fizz wide.
Giambelardini was causing Ferring’s back-line problems with his trickery and wascentral to a breakaway that resulted in James Wilson shooting over midway through the half.
Ferring had a penalty claim turned down as Dave Bryant’s sliding interception was adjudged to have come off the defender’s chest, while at the other end, wingers Alex Barnes and Adam Brett linked up well only for Brett to balloon over the bar with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
A Ben Blanshard header just wide and Matt Docherty’s slide-rule shot that went agonisingly wide of the post – following more good work by Barnes – were two of Bosham’s best chances in the second half, while Bosham were grateful to Blanshard in his more accustomed defensive role, making a last ditch challenge to deny Ferring a chance on goal late on.
There was a mixture of celebration and relief at the final whistle, with Bosham’s hard-working team performance rewarded with a final spot.
BOSHAM: Magee, Probee, Carter, Blanshard, Bryant, Docherty, Barnes, Wilson, Storey, Giambelardini, Brett. Subs: Lafferty, Bell, Redman, McCrossan, Foster.
* The annual Dennis Probee Memorial Cup match takes place on Saturday at Walton Lane (3pm), with a number of former Bognor players including David and Michael Birmingham, John Price, Dallas Whyte, John Donoghue and Dave Poole set to form part of a Sussex XI facing Bosham.
They’re all players who have been coached or managed by the late Dennis Probee, who served both the Rocks and Bosham. Dennis’ grandsons Stuart and Andy Probee will both be involved.
Entry is £2 with match programme, with a donation to a charity of the Probee family’s choice to be made from proceeds. Dennis’ son, Bob – Bosham’s president – will present the cup to the winners and the club hope the community will get behind an event celebrating the life of one of the area’s most influential football coaches, who died a year ago.