Sussex and Surrey round-up: Record-breaking FA Cup success, new beginnings and table toppers.
It was a great weekend for our local clubs in the FA Cup. Here's our round-up.
Burgess Hill Town 6-1 Cadbury Heath
Burgess Hill Town progress to the fourth Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup with a sublime performance against Cadbury Heath.
After only four minutes played, the Hillian’s headed in the opening goal following a neat delivery to Harding in the box; an easy goal and a fantastic start. Their lead doubled twenty-five minutes later, when Thompson converted from the penalty spot.
Following the half-time interval, Cadbury were once more punished in the opening moments. Harding fired in his second goal of the game, mirroring the same time as his first, four minutes after kick-off. A disastrous start to both halves for the visitors, saw a quicker response in the second. On fifty-eight minutes Cadbury narrowed the deficit, with a powerful strike from McElroy. Richardson-Brown regained the three goal lead on sixty-four with a well-timed header, crossed in by Harding. Hat-Trick Hero status for Harding came thirteen minutes later when he found the back of the net for the third time.
Saving the best to last, the Hillian’s made it six with a twenty-five yard curling shot from captain Pearse. A wonder goal, which truly polished off the team’s emphatic performance.
Extending their unbeaten run to nine games, Hill look to make it ten tomorrow night against Havant & Waterlooville at Leyland’s Park in the Ryman Premier League.
Dorking FC 2-2 Sheerwater
Dorking showed great character to recover after conceding an early goal. The Chicks went behind when league leaders Sheerwater took the lead after six minutes. It took the home side a while to make their mark on the game, but they created plenty of chances in the first half, but couldn’t find the net. They deservedly grabbed the equaliser in the sixtieth minute. Jimmy Brazil showed great tenacity and skill to tackle a Sheerwater defender on the edge of the box, before curling an unstoppable shot into the far corner. Both teams went in search for a winner, and it was Dorking substitute James Herouvin who set up Brandon Watts to put the Chicks ahead. The lead lasted just seven minutes as the visitors produced a good cross and finish to level the match. The game finished 2-2 and extended Dorking’s unbeaten league run to three games.
AFC Uckfield Town 1-6 Loxwood
It was a bad afternoon for AFC Uckfield as they suffered a heavy defeat to Loxwood. The visitors took the lead on twenty minutes when they were awarded a penalty. They had the ball in the net soon after, but the linesman’s flag saved the home team. Uckfield went 2-0 down in the thirty-ninth minute, after they were caught napping from an excellent free-kick by the visitors. The afternoon went from bad to worse soon after the break as Loxwood took total control and added three more goals to their tally. Uckfield managed a late consolation through Shaun Loft, but it was a tough afternoon for the players and fans as the game finished 6-1 to the visitors.
Windsor FC 2-1 Horley Town
Horley lost a close game away at Windsor FC. There was nothing between the teams in the first half, but the home side made a change after the break, and introduced substitute Denzel Bonilla-Hurtado who would have a hand in both of Windsor’s goals. Bonilla-Hurtado was fouled in the box, after a clumsy challenge by the visitors, and skipper Kieran Knight converted from the spot. The home side extended their lead in the seventy-fifth minute as Bonilla-Hurtado was once again involved, this time setting up Barry Dunbar who made it 2-0. Ben Herdman pulled one back for Horley in the seventy-seventh minute, but it wasn’t enough, and Windsor held on to take all three points.
Three Bridges 0-3 Dorking Wanderers
Three goals in the last five minutes took Dorking Wanderers to the top of the Ryman League Division One South table. Wanderers were visiting an injury hit Three Bridges side, with eight first team players on the side-lines, who were without a win in four games.
It was a backs to the wall job for Bridges from the start, and they relied on a string of fine saves from keeper Martin Grant to keep the score level. After a goalless first half, Devon Fender had the opportunity to snatch the lead for the hosts, but was denied twice in quick succession by Milan Stojsavlkevic.
On seventy-four minutes, the hosts were put under even more pressure after Jamie Crellin was given a second yellow card for appearing to deliberately handle the ball. Wanderers’ striker Tom Tolfrey converted a penalty five minutes from time to finally break the deadlock. James McShane doubled the lead in the final few seconds of normal time, before Tolfrey scored again from the spot to end the contest.
After Tooting & Mitcham lost against Hythe Town, Wanderers are now top with an impressive nine wins out of ten games so far. Three Bridges, however, are now in the bottom three, and need something to change soon if they are to avoid a relegation battle this year.
Crawley Down Gatwick 0-3 Pagham
The Anvils fell to their second 3-nil defeat in a row, and made it three consecutive games where they have conceded three goals. The hosts were on the back foot early on, when Kieran Greig was sent off after nine minutes for clearing the ball off the line with his hand. Scott Murfin scored the resulting penalty for Pagham, who are now third in the table.
Crawley Down will feel luck is against them at the moment, as they had two players, including keeper Andy Greaves, come off in the first half injured. Kieron Pamment doubled the visitor’s lead just before the break, and Dale Hayes added a third in injury time.
The Anvils remain mid table despite their recent form, and face a tough trip to Chichester City next. Manager Paul Cooper remained positive after the game, commenting “10 men for 82 minutes, goalkeeper and left back injured first half, tough day. The boys did well containing a decent side for the rest of the game”.
Sutton United 1-0 Guiseley
An own goal Guiseley’s Connor Brown on his debut gave Sutton their sixth win of the season. The goal came after early pressure from the hosts, who will feel that they should have won by a greater margin after wasting numerous good chances, against the bottom of the table team who are winless all season.
The U’s needed to rely on keeper Ross Warner to preserve their lead, who saved well from efforts from Jordan Preston and Michael Rankine.
The win takes Sutton up to tenth in the National League, just three points off the play-off places. Up next is a trip to Dover on Tuesday, before they host Woking at the weekend.
Chipstead 1-2 Greenwich Borough
Chipstead failed to pick up their second win in four days after a closely competed game against the side who are now second in the league.
Chips went behind in the fourteenth minute through Jake Britnell’s top corner strike, but kept pushing for an equaliser. Callum Maclean’s header from Chris O’Flaherty’s free kick was turned past the post by the Greenwich keeper, and Kurtis Cumberbatch shot just wide on the stroke of half time.
The victors doubled their lead in the second half against the run of play through veteran striker Charlie MacDonald. Chipstead fought back and grabbed one back with six minutes left when David Graves rose to head home a corner, but it turned out to be merely a consolation goal as time ran out for the hosts.
Despite the disappointing result, it was a valiant display from Chipstead and they will hope to take the momentum into Tuesday’s visit of Three Bridges, which is looking to be an early season six-pointer at the bottom end of the table.
Crawley Town 1-0 Blackpool
Crawley Town made it ten points out twelve with a win in their first ever competitive meeting with Blackpool.
The Reds piled on the pressure in the first half with some great attacking play, but were unable to find the chance to give them a deserved lead. Blackpool found their feet and threatened when Danny Philliskirk’s header was well saved by Glenn Morris. Blackpool should have taken the lead just before half time, but Philliskirk blasted his shot wide from a good position.
Mark Connolly gave Crawley the lead with his first goal in his second spell at the checkatrade.com stadium, beating keeper Dean Lyness to the ball to head home from a Billy Clifford corner. The visitors applied late pressure, but the resilient Crawley defence held on to take the Reds into the play-off places.
Dermot Drummy is happy with how his side are gelling in League Two, saying after the game “I thought the lads were fantastic, the back four were resolute. There was great spirit and I’m really pleased”.
Merstham 5-1 Thamesmead Town
The Moatsiders continued their excellent run of form by progressing to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, thrashing Isthmian Division North side Thamesmead Town 5-1. Hayden Bird commented, “The attitude of the players was very good. Even though Thamesmead are in the league below, they have some experienced players in their team, so we knew we had to be at our best.” Comfortably taking a 4-0 lead at half time, the manager said, “I think that the biggest highlight was that we professionally did the job early.”
In the league, the Moatsiders have scored sixteen goals in their last three games. The side’s first win of the season was a 6-1 triumph over Grays Athletic on Saturday 10th September, followed by a 5-0 demolishing of Harrow Borough and a 5-3 victory against Tonbridge Angels last Tuesday.
Charlie Penny has returned to the Moatside from National League side Woking. The striker was top scorer last season, netting twenty goals in twenty three league appearances. Penny has already settled into the club, scoring four goals altogether in Merstham’s last two league matches.
Hayden Bird’s side encounter Worthing tomorrow evening. The manager said, “I think that they are a good young side. It will be a difficult game, but we’re full of confidence at the moment. It’s a big game for us, because we’ve got two games in hand of most clubs at the moment.”
Redhill 0-3 AC London
The Lobsters played their first home match of the season on Saturday, following the renovation of Kiln Brow. The project included replacing the under-soil drainage system, relaying a new grass pitch and installing a new irrigation system.
Unfortunately, the side were on the end of a 3-0 defeat to AC London. The opposition are new to the Combined Counties League, being transferred from the Kent Invicta League after finishing tenth. The side were deducted six points at the end of last season for breaching league rules, finishing fifteen points adrift of nineth place.
A more promising result last Tuesday saw Redhill progress to the next round of the RPM Records Division One Challenge Cup. Defeating Cove 10-0 beforehand supplied the side with confidence, Gavin Gordon naming an almost identical team with the exception of debutant Aiden Cawte.
Redhill defeated Sheerwater 2-1, Luke Jones opening the scoring with the assistance of Kery Kedze. The visitors equalised on the hour mark, but in the seventy-second minute Chris Ransome netted a winner, his sixth goal of the season.
The Reds host Chessington & Hook United this Saturday. Their last meeting was in August, the latter winning 2-1. However, a home advantage will give Redhill confidence in spite of this weekend’s result.
Chatham Town 0-1 South Park
Michael Smith secured a win for South Park on Saturday, scoring in the fortieth minute to give his side a 1-0 victory.
Last Wednesday, the Sparks lost 4-2 to Sussex side East Grinstead Town. Marcus Elliott and Will Thomas put the opposition ahead inside twenty minutes, Kieran Lavery pulling a goal back in the second half. Unable to inspire another goal for South Park, East Grinstead retaliated as Laste Dombaxe and Travis Gregory both scored. A goal for Joe Jackson in the nintieth minute did not suffice as East Grinstead ran away with three points.
South Park take a break from the league this weekend, facing Guernsey in the FA Trophy Preliminary Round. Next Wednesday the Sparks host Godalming Town, which is followed by a trip to Ramsgate on Saturday 15th October.
Horsham 2-3 Cray Wanderers
A cruel last minute goal from Karl Dent denied a point for Horsham, who took the lead twice. Scott Kirkwood opened the scoring in the seventh minute, but the score was level at half time as Bradley Wood-Garness netted an equaliser. An excellent run from Alan Duncan approaching half time almost earned Horsham the lead; he escaped two tackles and fired a low shot into the corner, which Nick Blue smothered. A lack of support precluded any chance of a goal.
In the second half, Lee Carney scored before Cray Wanderers equalised for the second time through Lee Dawson. Two minutes into injury time, Karl Dent made the final score 3-2.
This Saturday, Horsham visit Potters Bar Town in the FA Trophy Preliminary Round. A derby game takes place next Tuesday night as the Hornets take a short trip to East Grinstead Town in the Ryman League Division One South.
Lingfield 2-2 Saltdean
The Lingers went into this match with confidence, winning four of their five matches in September. Sam Bell gave the hosts a 1-0 lead approaching the half hour mark, but Saltdean equalised early in the second half. Bell scored his fifth goal of the season in the fifty-seventh minute, completing his brace. Similar to Horsham’s match against Cray Wanderers, Lingfield conceded a goal in the dying moments. Final Score: 2-2.
After being pegged to a draw, Lingfield sit in sixth position in the Southern Combination Division One. The side are level on points with fifth placed Langney Wanderers and are only one point behind Little Common, who sit in fourth.
Tomorrow night, Lingfield have an opportunity to move up the table as they take on Little Common. Their following match is next Tuesday, which is an away fixture against Loxwood.
AFC Varndeanians 2-2 Oakwood
Oakwood are sixteenth in the Southern Combination Division One, one point behind opponents AFC Varndeanians. The visitors recovered from a two-goal deficit, Josh Newman and Tariq Richards putting the home side 2-0 up. The Oaks fought for a point, but the side are still out of form.
A 2-1 victory against Bexhill kicked off the season, but a 1-0 loss to Billingshurst followed. Two consecutive draws against Storrington Community and Midhurst & Easebourne concluded August, before the Oaks lost all their three matches in September- including a 4-1 defeat to Little Common and a 6-0 thrashing against Saltdean last Tuesday.
On Saturday, the side will look to end their seven game winless streak against Steyning Town Community. Sitting third in the table, Steyning will be a difficult side to beat. However, next weekend, the Oaks encounter Ringmer, the opposition are bottom of the table.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Brighton
Facing the side which denied the Seagulls promotion last season, Brighton were determined to take victory on Saturday afternoon. Albion recorded their first ever win at Hillsborough, moving up to fourth in the Championship. Only Newcastle, Norwich and surprise package Huddersfield are higher in the table.
Brighton were dominant, especially in the first half. Adam Reach almost netted the opener after ten minutes, collecting a loose ball but striking it past the post. Another movement between Knockaert and Glenn Murray followed, passing the ball to Baldock whose shot drifted wide.
In the twenty-sixth minute, a long ball from Lewis Dunk found Sam Baldock. The striker converted, giving the Seagulls a deserved 1-0 lead. Anthony Knockaert added another goal in the seventy-third minute, Gary Hooper scoring a consolation goal in injury time.
Brighton take a break this weekend, but Chris Hughton’s side host Preston North End next Saturday. The opposition are seventeeth in the Championship, winning only four of their opening eleven matches.
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