Extra-time cup wins for Wittering United and Bosham feature in this week’s round-up from our West Sussex Leaguye teams - as well as a controversial hammering for Chapel.
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Wittering Utd 2 St Leonards Social 1 (aet)
Sussex intermediate Cup R4
Wittering finally saw off St Leonards at Rookwood Road in the last 16 of the Intermediate Cup to set up a quarter-final tie at Cowfold.
Neither team had played for five weeks so you’d have forgiven a bit of rustiness but some quality football was played by both sides.
The Warriors went close to opening the scoring through Darran Cox and Greg Robinson but both fired straight at the keeper.
Robinson had more luck after that - the dead-ball specialist fired a free-kick from 25 yards into the bottom right hand corner.
St Leonards started the second half much brighter than the first and started to cause the home side problems, especially in the wide areas.
Wittering were dealt a blow on 55 minutes when Jamie Smith went off injured. He was replaced by the returning Simon Green and a slight re-shuffle in defence meant Dan Cowell slipping in at centre half.
St Leonards were slowly getting themselves into the game but on 68 minutes their centre-half swore at the referee and was given his marching orders.
This seemed to spur St Leonards into life and the equaliser came within eight minutes of the sending-off when a cross looped over Ash Rochester and in off the post.
This was a wake-up call for the Warriors and for the remaining 15 minutes it was all about the Reds pushing forward.
Robinson went close from another free-kick, hitting the top of the bar, and Cox was denied a penalty when clean through.
The winner did come - thanks to the hosts’ young players. Alex Pearce picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and whipped in a delightful cross that was bundled home by Tom Jefkins to send the Warriors into the quarter-finals.
WITTERING: Rochester, Pearce, Cowell, Smith (Green), McCoy, J Jefkins (Sheppard), Beitenhuis, Robinson, T Jefkins, Cox, Kelly.
Bosham 4 Southwater 3 (aet)
Malcolm Simmonds Cup
Bosham finally got back on to the pitch this week after the Christmas and New Year break was extended by a flooded pitch - and were glad to be back in action as they beat Southwater in a two-hour thriller.
The early stages were tight and fought at a frenetic pace. Joe Bagwell had the first sight of goal on the quarter-hour and went close with a shot that gave Bosham keeper Simon Hasted food for thought.
Minutes later Captain Marvel Ben Blanshard went even closer with a header but Jamie Mitchell-Harris saved it well to keep the tie goalless approaching the half-hour.
Southwater got their noses in front on the half-hour when Bagwell slid a perfect ball through to the pacy Ali Green who sped on, rounded Hasted and slotted into the empty net.
This was a shock to the Robins’ system, but minutes later they were back on level terms - and it was the redoubtable Blanshard who got the goal in typical style.
From a corner swung in by Graeme Dowden, Blanshard rose and produced a powerful header that Mitchell-Harris had no chance to stop from point-blank range.
Bosham went on the attack with renewed vigour and deservedly took the lead for the first time just before the break.
Thanks to good interplay around the area from the likes of Neil Redman and Joe Hancock, the ball was slipped through to Dowden, who delighted in slotting it home. Manager Tony Hancock gave an enthusiastic fist pump from the dugout and it was 2-1 at the interval.
Southwater came out strongly, looking for an early goal. And they got the break they were looking for after only two minutes when Ben Bissett netted - to the delight of his team-mates.
The ever-dangerous Carl Petros provided a wonderful cross from the right and Bissett provided a perfect angled header to beat the outstretched hand of Hasted to snare the equaliser.
Neither team could find a winner and the tie went into the nervousness of extra time to try to find a winner and avoid the pressure of a penalty shootout.
Bosham were behind again when Petros stooped to head in a cross from Mark Taylor - but the advantage was soon wiped out when Nick Edgington slid himself and the ball across the line during a scramble in the box for a messy goal but one that meant a great deal.
Hancock brought on on Dean Ayling and the striker’s first touch was to receive a perfect pass from Joe Hancock and slot home with aplomb to restore the Reds’ advantage.
Try as they might, Southwater couldn’t find an equaliser and the Reds were left to celebrate passage to the next round of the competition.
Barnham await this week in the Vernon Wentworth Cup so a tough challenge and absorbing game is assured.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Brett, Jack Hancock, Blanshard, Edgington, Probee, Wilson, Dowden, Joe Hancock, Desai, Redman. Subs: Ayling, Docherty, Evans, Davies.
Faygate III 11 Chapel 0
Division 5 Cup
The result reflects a very one-sided game in which ten-man Chapel fought bravely to subdue a Faygate side containing four members of their premier division side who had no game.
Chapel said this was within the rules but not the spirit of the game.
The Chapel lads retained their spirit and good humour. Five goals in the first half and six in the second settled the game and Faygate thirds progressed to round four.