Worthing Football Club’s under-21 side were sunk by two goals just before half-time in the Sussex Intermediate Cup final on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Charlie Coppola and Matt Gunn took Lewes’s development squad to victory at Culver Road and although Jaz Rance got a goal back 19 minutes from time for Rebels, the Rooks held on to win 2-1 and lift the trophy.
Rebels, the Ryman League under-21 South Division champions, beat Lewes 6-1 and 5-0 in the league clashes between the sides this season but chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges. Coppola stung the hands of Rebels keeper Chris Cook with a shot from 20 yards on 11 minutes, before Worthing winger Jack Hartley saw a low shot held at the second attempt by Lewes stopper Nathan Stroomberg on 28 minutes.
Stroomberg then saved well low to his left to keep out a flicked effort from Tom Lyne on 31 minutes, before Rebels’ Jack Barnes curled a free kick wide from 25 yards three minutes later.
Lewes then caught Worthing cold with two quickfire strikes. Coppola showed why he had a trial with Premier League leaders Leicester City last week with a moment of magic on 41 minutes. He skipped past his man, burst into the penalty area and coolly side-footed into the far corner from 15 yards on 41 minutes.
Lewes then doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when a corner reached Gunn at the back post and he stabbed the ball home from close range.
Rebels made a lively start to the second half as Hayden Hunter rifled into the side netting, before Hartley sent a free kick over from 20 yards.
Worthing enjoyed plenty of possession in the second period and got a goal back 19 minutes from time when Hartley’s corner was flicked on and Rance finished well at the back post.
Vincent Follea volleyed wide of the far post as Lewes looked to restore a two-goal lead, before Rebels pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages.
Josh Etherington headed over and Steve Herbert blazed off target as normal time drew to a close. Worthing then had two opportunities in the seven minutes of injury-time but Rance pulled a shot wide of the far post, before Tom Lyne headed Hartley’s free kick over with their final opportunity.
WORTHING: Cook; Josh Parazo, Etherington, Lyne, Jacob Parazo; Hunter, Gilbertson, Hardman, Barnes, Hartley; Rance. Subs: Herbert (Gilbertson 68), Witten, Fagan, Brown, Isaacs.
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