Littlehampton's Cup dream ends... up and down week for Wick
While Littlehampton Town made the local football headlines, unlucky to go out of the FA Cup to Whitehawk, there was plenty of other local football too. Best of the reports below...
Littlehampton Town 4 Whitehawk 5
FA Cup first qualifying rd
Littlehampton Town were on the wrong end of a 5-4 defeat to Whitehawk – but what a magical FA Cup afternoon it was.
In front of a crowd of 525 at The Sportsfield, Golds will rue missing some very good chances at 3-3 and succumbing to a couple of late goals before reducing the deficit again.
As in the previous round against higher-placed opposition, Town began on the front foot and were rewarded with a dream start after two minutes as a well flighted Dave Herbert free kick was headed goalwards by Dion Jarvism and George Gaskin was on hand to tap in after Nathan Stroomberg had saved the initial effort.
The visitors were level nine minutes later, Golds unable to clear a cross and Henry Muggeridge sending it past James Binfield.
A clumsy challenge from Lewis Jenkins on Muggeridge led to a Hawks penalty on 20 minutes, converted by James Fraser. Three minutes later Gaskin beat the offside trap and then Stroomberg to the ball but it was cleared.
The hosts were back on equal terms on the half hour with a penalty of their own, Jarvis bundled over in the box after a strong Lucas Pattenden run, Herbert making no mistake.
Jarvis was close five minutes later to putting Golds back in front but his chip was too high.
Hawks went back in front a minute later, Muggeridge capitalising on Town’s inability to clear to arrow his shot past Binfield.
Just after the hour came another Town equaliser as Joe Benn volleyed in superbly.
Town looked the more likely to grab the winner but out of nowhere, with seven minutes to go, the visitors added their fourth, a neat finish from Callum Edwards that swung the tie back in the favour of Whitehawk.
Omarr Lanson provided the travelling support with a fifth goal two minutes later and seemingly a safe passage into the second qualifying round.
But Golds made sure there was a nervy period of stoppage time as Gaskin fired in his second and Town’s fourth in the final minute. Sadly it wasn’t enough to prevent Golds from exiting the competition despite another sterling performance.
Northbrook Football Club have re-formed after only one season to enter the West Sussex League Division 2 South.
After winning the Brighton & Worthing Football League in successive seasons in 2018-19 and 2019-20 but disbanding to seek a higher standard of football by taking their players to become members of Brighton Electricity in the intermediate-level Southern Combination Football League Division 2, Northbrook are back with their original players.
One of them, Connor Pomeroy, netted 72 goals in only 44 matches during the two championship seasons.
In Saturday’s debut league fixture at Highdown, Pomeroy netted a hat-trick as Northbrook defeated Optimus, formerly The Crown, 5-2, with other goals coming from Hayden Briggs and newcomer Tony Banks.
The Optimus goals came in the first and final minutes.
Wick 2 Epsom & Ewell 3
SCFL division one
It was a familiar story at Crabtree Park as injury-hit Wick were the architects of their own downfall.
Epsom & Ewell played some entertaining football but headed home with maximum points only because Wick gifted them a goal just 31 seconds into the second half.
Epsom striker Jamie Byatt gleefully accepted the present and then increased the lead but Johan van Driel reduced the arrears.
Although prolific Josh Uzun restored Epsom’s two-goal advantage, Conor Bull bagged his seventh goal in three games to set-up a grandstand finish. But the Dragons could not force the equaliser.
Midfielder van Driel lamented: “We keep shooting ourselves in the foot by giving away silly goals or not taking chances.
“Roffey are the only team who have beaten us, in all the other matches we have failed to win we’ve beaten ourselves.”
Wick were again without strikers Dave Crouch, Ben Gray and Liam Brady while the defence lacked regular left-back Jack Bingham and goalkeeper Keelan Belcher.
But Nathan Brown pulled off a couple of smart saves before the interval and substitute Ben Nightingale was a real positive along with teenage midfielder Aaron Tester as the Dragons’ youth policy continues to show dividends.
Storrington 0 Wick 3
Peter Bentley Cup
A team bonding night dancing to 90’s music at Butlin’s led to Ronald Kardos orchestrating a comprehensive victory as Wick eased into the Peter Bentley Cup third round.
First, he rolled in a long clearance from goalkeeper Nathan Brown for his first goal of the season to double the Dragons lead early in the second half at Storrington.
He then capped a fine individual performance by dissecting the home defence for Conor Bull to find the net for a fourth consecutive match.
Ben Gray returned from a foot injury to clip Wick ahead before the break and Dragons manager Lee Baldwin said: ‘Ronald was very good in all aspects of his play. He will be a big asset if he maintains this form on a regular basis.’
Wick seek to advance in another cup competition on Saturday when they entertain Wessex League Premier Division Alton at Crabtree Park in the FA Vase first qualifying round.
Rustington 1 Jarvis Brook 0
SCFL division two
Rustington maintained their 100% record and ended Jarvis Brook’s as a wonder strike from Josh Irish separated the sides in a game enjoyed of a bumper crowd of 108 at Jubilee Avenue.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the first half before Rustington grew into the game into the second half.
Both sides rattled the woodwork and Billy Nash had to be at his best at times but the home side could have extended their lead with James Butt and Jo Oliver both having great chances.
Jake Sayers and Mike Gilchrist were superb at the heart of the Blues defence and the victory sees them in good shape ahead of another tough game at the weekend against Copthorne.
Irish has scored four in four so far.