Southwick hit back to clinch semi-final spot

Action from Southwick's league game at Saturday last Saturday. Picture by Kate Shemilt KS170051
Action from Southwick's league game at Saturday last Saturday. Picture by Kate Shemilt KS170051

Southwick Football Club came from a goal behind to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the Southern Combination League Division 1 Cup on Saturday.

After Paul White fired Billingshurst ahead five minutes before the break, Wickers hit back with efforts from Josh Bidwell, Ross Petts and George Turrelll to secure a 3-1 quarter-final victory.

Southwick’s reward is a last-four date with current league leaders East Preston, with the game scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 15, at Shoreham’s Middle Road home.

With Wickers sitting tenth in the Division 1 standings, boss John Kilgarriff was pleased with the victory as it gives his side an added incentive this campaign.

He said: “Billingshurst are a quality side, so for us to go to them and get the victory was impressive.

“We were without Ross Myers, Jack Piner and Thomas Donnelly - three crucial players for us - so to win without them was a magnificent achievement.

“We’ve not got much left to play for in the league but now we’ve got the added incentive of a potential trophy.

“It’s not going to be easy as we face East Preston in the next round and they’ll be eyeing a double.

“We’ve played them twice this season - losing and drawing - so we know we can compete. It’s going to be a one-off game at a neutral ground, you never know what can happen in cup football.”

Wickers were dealt a blow with half-time approaching as White fired Hurst ahead after 40 minutes.

A clever interchange saw Joe Bidwell release brother Josh, with the latter slotting past Thomas Betts to level things up in first half injury-time.

Ross Petts' long-range rocket found the net as Wickers went ahead for the first time on the hour.

Southwick were now in control and Ben Presslie saw an effort strike the crossbar, before his side added a third.

Dean Smith’s inventive reverse pass sent Turrell clear, he then rounded Betts and slotted into an empty net 20 minutes from the end.

Debutant Harrison Hilfiker pulled off a couple of fine late saves as Wickers held on for a 3-1 victory, sealing a place in the semi-finals of this year’s SCFL Division 1 Cup.

SOUTHWICK: Hilfiker; Tucker, Josh Bidwell, Watts, Dunk; Turrell, Smith, Cook; Presslie, Petts, Joe Bidwell. Subs: Daly (Turrell, 60), Neal (Presllie, 65), Carreras (Joe Bidwell, 80).

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