Shoreham and Storrington play for pride in SCFL Shield - and end up sharing it
Aidan Crabb’s late goal for Storrington cancelled out Ramon Santos’ Shoreham double in the Southern Combination Supplementary Shield game at Middle Road.
Santos scored in each half either side of a Matt Firmin own goal just before the break. Aidan Crabb’s equaliser gave Storrington their first point of the campaign.
Storrington had come into the match on a four-game losing streak, and without the now-curtailed league season's top scorer Jordan Suter. Shoreham were without injured stalwart centre-back Joel Sayers and player-manager Mark Pulling - who had been sent off in the game against Worthing United.
Storrington were out of the competition, but Shoreham hoped to keep their slim hopes for a knockout place alive - but realistically this was a game for respect in the group with Worthing topping the table.
Storrington’s day got off to a rocky start with central defender Liam Griffin injured in the first minute and replaced by Taylor Stevens. However, this did nothing to stop the Storrington ethos of playing out from the back over the 90 minutes, with a composed captain Sam Pidgeon weaving balls into the midfield throughout.
Shoreham were playing some good one-touch football in the final third but came up against a resolute Storrington defence - the only real opportunity of the opening 15 minutes falling to midfielder Dean Gilmour. Picking up a bouncing ball 25 yards out, Gilmour popped the ball onto his right foot and slammed a half volley just wide of the left post, with keeper Gary Elliott clattering the woodwork in the process.
Minutes later, Storrington’s spritely winger Archie Thorpe gave Shoreham’s Jack Nicholls much to think about when slinging the ball past him on the right, finding Henton on the inside, only for his left foot shot to fall tamely into the arms of Alves from 20 yards.
Musselmen midfielder Luke Gedling then lifted a smart ball over the defensive line midway through the half, with Munday’s first time lob falling short - and caught by the back-peddling Elliott.
The opening goal came as Santos played a quick ball wide to Neil Munday who then placed a perfectly weighted cross back to Santos, who beat his marker six yards out to head the ball into the net - via Elliott’s outstretched palm.
There were few Storrington chances in the first half, with Swans’ creative duo Gilbey and Bristow stifled by an impressive Harvey Green - playing in his preferred centre-back role - reading and intercepting well. However, little could be done for the 42nd minute own goal when a low Storrington corner was thumped in on the volley by Shoreham’s Matt Firmin, when it may have been wiser to use his head.
Half Time 1-1
A lack of opportunities after the break was broken as bullish Bristow dropped deep, energising the Storrington team with his endeavour. Bristow turned midfield anchor Dean Gilmour impressively on the hour, only for his through-ball to the racing Thorpe blocked en route.
Shoreham took the lead again on the 70th minute, with Gilmour substitute Luca Slaney playing a defence splitting ball into the box and into the path of the interminable Munday. His effort bounded off goalkeeper Elliott to Santos’ feet, who had little work in passing into the open net from 10 yards.
As the game entered the last 10 Storrington scored an equaliser after a howler from Shoreham ‘keeper Alves. Having claimed a ball from a Shoreham corner, Storrington’s goalie Elliott launched the ball long into the Shoreham half with pace. With counterpart Alves coming 25 yards out, the Shoreham stopper mistimed his header, with the onrushing substitute Crabb putting the ball into an empty just inside the 18-yard area.
Man of the Match: Dean Gilmour. Calm and composed until his substitution. Made himself available and was a conservative presence alongside Gedling.