First Team v Sidley FC
By Peter Giles
Saturday 25th October 2014
Wisden Sports Challenge Cup
If Eastbourne Rangers had any doubts about their credentials for promotion this season they would have been dismissed after Saturday, as they blew away Division One opponents Sandhurst 9-0. Jamie Strong is scoring for fun at the moment, hitting a hat-trick to take his tally to 12 in all competitions for the season. Sean Hardie and Matt Wheeler supported him with two goals apiece, whilst Steve Green and Ben Jesson also netted.
Oscar Garcia-Cruz scored twice as his Wittersham side required extra-time before knocking hosts Northiam 75 out of the competition. In a game in which defences initially dominated, it burst into life with just ten minutes of normal time left when Garcia-Cruz opened his account. However, before his team had time to celebrate Northiam were awarded a penalty which James Fielding duly converted to take the tie into the extra period. Wittersham made no mistakes second time round though as Garcia-Cruz bagged his second, before Ashley Spice sealed the win.
Bexhill AAC had a few scares against visitors Hawkhurst United late on, but were able to preserve a narrow 2-1 lead, before hitting a third in added time to move into the next round. Zak Dangerfield struck twice for Bexhill in the first half to give them a comfortable lead, but they were stunned when a Jamie Crouch delightful top corner volley brought United back into the match. The visitors then had further chances to equalise before Rhys Whybourne’s injury time goal sealed the tie for the hosts.
A vibrant game at Little Chelsea saw visitors Mountfield United move into the next round after a narrow 3-2 win. Little Chelsea will be kicking themselves that there was not an alternative outcome to this match though as they squandered the chance to force extra-time by missing an eighty-eighth minute penalty. Steve Fortsch, Nick Severino and Ben Hardy were on target for United, whilst Tobi Hutchinson will be particularly disappointed that his two goal salvo for Chelsea was not enough to affect the result.
Liam Bull scored his second hat-trick in two weeks as his Ticehurst side won 4-2 against visitors Sidley United to move into the quarter-finals of the competition. The home side were comfortably 2-0 up by mid-way through the first half but were rocked when the visitors hit two quick goals in six minutes just prior to the break through Adam Day and George Carroll, to put the scores back level. The home side reasserted their control though, with Bull always a threat, and they eventually went through; with Leon Fisher
hitting the fourth for Ticehurst.
Sean Baker’s late penalty for Icklesham Casuals would have failed to console the home side, as visitors Wadhurst United were already 4-0 ahead by that point. United had a relatively comfortable afternoon with Lee Bates starring for them. He put his side 2-0 up at the interval and then sealed his hat-trick in the second period. Harry Milsom struck United’s fourth, the result of which meaning his side now meet Hollington United in the quarters.
Hollington United will be there courtesy of a 3-1 win at Herstmonceux. The home side were competitive throughout and were well into the game for long periods but, in the end, failed to match their opponent’s prowess in front of goal. Rory Collins scored for Herstmonceux, but goals for Dan Peacock, Gary Pocock and Mark Coggon saw United home.
The purple patch for Old Hastonians between the twentieth and thirty-fifth minutes, where they scored three times, proved to be the ultimate difference between the two sides, as they were able to shake off the challenge of hosts JC Tackleway; winning 3-2. Dan Foster hit the opener for them from the spot, Tom Cusden then fired in a second and then Dan Foster converted a third in a whirlwind spell. Danny Noakes and Josh Eaton scored for Tackleway, but with their second not entering the net until the eightieth minute, it left little time to complete a rescue job, and Hastonians went through.