FERRING Football Club put themselves in a great position to reach the County League Division 3 Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 4-1 win at Southwick in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
Despite missing four first-team regulars on Saturday, Ferring adapted superbly to the challenge provided by a Southwick side, who were playing under new boss John Kilgarriff for the first time.
Ferring’s Barney Boutwood and Sean O’Reilly were both denied by the Southwick keeper in the opening five minutes, before the visitors went ahead on 39 minutes. Following a long period of pressure, Boutwood raced on to Pete Christodoulou’s long clearance and finished superbly.
Josey Stakim added a second following a neat one-two with Boutwood on 42 minutes but Wickers got a goal back through Craig Rhodes when he bundled home from a corner on the stroke of half-time.
Ferring began the second half well, with wing-back Simon Clarke causing all sorts of problems down the left.
O’Reilly netted the third on 59 minutes when he latched on to a loose ball, rounded the keeper and fired home from a tight angle.
O’Reilly got his second on 67 minutes when he powerfully headed home Clarke’s cross.
Ferring boss Pete Matthews said: “The result showed our strength in depth this year as we had to name a completely new midfield due to varying circumstances.
“The players showed great commitment and concentration from the start and obviously this gives us a great opportunity to reach the semi-finals.
“Obviously, we cannot be complacent but we must continue to work hard to maintain our progression as a team.”
Ferring host Willingdon Athletic in the Sussex Intermediate Cup on Saturday.
FERRING: Gammons; Da Costa, Christodoulou, D.Heward, A.Heward, Clarke; Gibbons, Harris-Hardy, Stakim; Boutwood, O’Reilly. Subs: Garcia (Gibbons 80mins), Bagnall, Coleman.