Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Peche Hill Select 3 v 1 Robertsbridge United

Monday 26th April 2016
East Sussex League Challenge Cup Final
Pilot Field, Hastings
Admission including Programme: £3.00
Attendance: 150 (estimate)
Match Rating: 3

This evening I decided to pay my second visit within a month to the Pilot Field, to watch the premier cup final in the East Sussex Football League.

Peche Hill Select were looking to complete the league and cup double this evening, having clinched the East Sussex League Premier Division title at the weekend, with an unbeaten league record of 13 wins and two draws from their 15 games played so far with three left to play. Robertsbridge were in third place, with nine wins and a draw from their 16 games. When the two teams met in the league in September, Peche Hill Select won 2-0.

On a cool but mainly dry evening, the game started evenly, if anything Robertsbridge had the better of things although Peche Hill had the first real chance, seeing a drive go just over the bar. On 26 minutes, Peche Hill were awarded a penalty, when their forward knocked the ball past the keeper before tripping over the keeper's outstretched legs. The penalty was converted by Ross Southwood low to the left with the keeper diving the other way. They doubled their lead on 35 minutes, when Callum Smith drove to the right edge of the penalty area before lashing in a shot across the keeper and into the net. One feared that may have decided the game, but Robertsbridge pulled a goal back a couple of minutes before the break. A free kick was pumped up to the back post and although it looked like the ball would go out of play, it was headed across goal and Guy Ballard headed in from very close range, to set up an intriguing second half.

Seven minutes into the second half and Peche Hill Select restored their two goal lead. A corner was drilled across goal and a defender missed cutting the ball out and instead it rolled to the feet of  Smith, who had the simple task of tapping the ball home from close range. Although Robertsbridge battled gamely, it never looked likely that they would score the two goals required to take the game to extra time, although an excellent overhead kick resulted in the ball coming back off the crossbar. Peche Hill also had several good chances to extend their lead, but they still comfortably lifted the trophy shortly after the final whistle.

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