STORRINGTON Football Club exited the Sussex RUR Cup on Tuesday evening in a 4-1 defeat against higher-division opposition Littlehampton.
Due to ongoing floodlight issues at Storrington, this game was switched at 24 hours notice to Littlehampton.
An uneventful start to the game on a freezing night saw both sides initially evenly matched, before Golds’ Ben Gray unleashed an unstoppable drive from 40 yards in the 25th minute which left Gary Elliott helpless as the ball sailed into his top left-hand corner.
It was a goal from nothing as the diminutive forward turned on the halfway line and unleashed, although he had had a couple of wayward sighters earlier in the game.
Littlehampton almost doubled their lead after some nice interplay between Mitchell Hand and George Gaskin ended with the former prodding the ball just wide from 12 yards.
Swans could have levelled in the 37th minute as Jon Hendrick’s clearance rebounded off his own player to Marcus Robertshaw, but the ball seemed to take an eternity to come down, forcing the striker into an early volley over the empty net.
Storrington finished the half strongly only for Iain Jarvie’s header from a Will Garrett cross to go just over.
The game was effectively over in the 52nd minute as Mitchell Hand ran onto a through ball, having been changing his boots by the dugout, and, although his shot was blocked, the ball fell to Gary Peters, who tucked the ball into an empty net.
Golds should have increased their lead further in the 71st minute as Danny Hand’s cross was met by Gray, but his shot from two yards was somehow held by Elliott.
Two minutes later, substitute Mark Burgess was fortunate to draw a foul from Ollie Setchell, when the striker himself could well have been penalised, and Mitchell Hand buried the spot-kick.
Golds grabbed a fourth in the 85th minute when Danny Hand crossed to fellow substitute, Alex Kew, who finished from close range.
Swans got a consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time as the youthful wing pairing of Garrett and Harry Jarrett combined, with the latter volleying home at the back post.
Swans boss Nigel Dyer said: “I thought we did all right in the first half but they are a good side and with Alex Forsey dropping out during the warm-up, it was always going to be tough for us.”