STEYNING Town Football Club fought back from a goal down to win the first of this season’s derby matches with Storrington on Saturday.
Goals from Matt Dodd and Lee Garnham sent Town through to the second round of the Peter Bentley Cup against a Swans side who had won their opening two matches of the new season.
New signing Danny Gainsford started on his return to Steyning, who were the quicker out of the blocks and had a number of chances in the first quarter to take the lead.
Garnham had a couple of chances, but the best of the opportunities fell to Rob Clark, who danced round two or three defenders, cruised into the box but was denied by the legs of Swans keeper Gary Elliott.
Storrington began to get on top but struggled to create any clear-cut chances as the first half ended scoreless.
In the second half, the game ebbed and flowed from end to end. Swans went ahead when Luke Jearum struck a 25-yard strike high into the roof of the goal on 51 minutes.
Town reacted well and turned on the pressure at the other end. They levelled when substitute Lewis Levoi’s long throw was flicked on by Gainsford for Dodd to toe-poke home from close range on 61 minutes.
Steyning went 2-1 up with 15 minutes remaining when another long throw from Levoi was only half-cleared and Garnham fired a volley low into the bottom corner for his second goal in three matches.
The hosts had chances to increase their lead as Swans pushed for an equaliser but Levoi and Callum Towse both struck the woodwork and Levoi and Clark missed one-on-ones.
At the other end, Joe Warner almost levelled but lifted the ball just over the bar as Town keeper Ben Rose came out to narrow the angle.
Steyning manager Alan Skipper said: “Very much like the Midhurst game, we played some decent football in spells and we continue to create chances, which is pleasing.
“We need to be patient and, in the final third, the cutting edge will come.
“After a lacklustre first half, which I put down to Tuesday night’s hour played with ten men at Southwick, it was very pleasing to see how the lads reacted to the half-time team talk and came out in the second half more lively and hungry.
“I felt we got the result we deserved and if we had converted our chances, the scoreline would have been a wider margin.
“We continue to please with our attitude and performance and, although only a few games in, we can see that the hard work the lads and coaching staff have put in pre-season is starting to bed in.”
Storrington boss Peter Matthews said: “After working hard to take the lead, a superb strike from Luke Jearum, it was extremely disappointing to concede both goals in the manner we did.”
Town are back in league action on Saturday, when they entertain Bexhill at The Shooting Field (3pm).
STEYNING: Rose, S.Skipper, Gainsford, Finch, Parsons, McMahon, Elms, Dodd, Clark, Garnham, Garrett. Subs: Levoi, Towse, Webb, Waller.
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