AFC Shoreham suffer cup final heartbreak

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WHITE Hart lifted the Sussex Sunday Challenge Cup after victory over AFC Shoreham on Sunday at Culver Road.

Ryan Walton’s 77th-minute effort was all that separated the sides in a closely-fought cup tie.

AFC Shoreham were reduced to ten men within two minutes of the second half as Dan Rahaman was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The match could have gone either way, though, as both sides had chances to score.

Sussex Sunday League Premier Division side AFC Shoreham almost forced extra-time as only heroic defending from Paul Fleming prevented Tony Burnett’s low effort from hitting the back of the net in stoppage time.

The first half produced little for either side in front of goal, with Jake Buss in the White Hart goal being the busier of the two keepers in the opening exchanges.

AFC Shoreham’s Jon Elliot and Mark O’Regan spurned the best of their chances.

AFC Shoreham were dealt a blow moments into the second-half, as Rahaman, who had been booked on 44 minutes, lunged in recklessly and left referee Paul Rowland little choice but to send him off.

Despite that, it was AFC Shoreham who went close to going in front ten minutes later. O’Regan beat the offside flag to go through one-on-one with Buss, but the keeper did well to close the forward down and deflect his effort wide.

As the half wore on, Lewes & District Sunday League outfit White Hart were finding more openings and the deadlock was finally broken with 13 minutes remaining. An inviting cross picked out Walton at the far post and he scrambled the ball past the diving Matt Grimstone.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, AFC Shoreham came within yards of forcing extra-time late on. Jamie Stideford controlled a ball in from the left and found substitute Burnett, who steered the ball away from the advancing Buss, only for his goalbound effort to be hooked off the line by the lunging Fleming.