Steyning Town Football Club pulled off an FA Cup shock as they played their first game in the famous old competition for 12 years on Saturday.
Town came from 2-1 down at the interval to run out 4-2 winners at division-higher Southern Combination League Premier Division rivals Worthing United in an extra-preliminary round encounter.
Ben Bacon’s early spot-kick got Town off to a dream start, before James McKernan struck twice prior to the break as Mavericks went in ahead.
Steyning head coach Gerry Murphy’s half-time team talk paid dividends, though, with efforts in the second 45 minutes from Bacon, Chad Milner and Oliver Hartley ensuring Town pulled off a cup shock.
Murphy felt it was the perfect way for his team to cap their return the the FA Cup after 12 years away and said: “This was a great way for us to start the season. We lost our way a little bit after going ahead in the first half and gave away a couple of sloppy goals.
“Going into the break 2-1 down was a bit disappointing but the feeling amongst the players was that we could turn things around, which we did in the end.”
Steyning debutant Alex Townley was upended in the area after five minutes with a spot-kick awarded. Bacon slammed home the penalty to fire Steyning ahead.
McKernan levelled 23 minutes later, then struck on the half-hour as the home side turned things around to lead 2-1 at half-time.
Bacon bagged his and Steyning’s second ten minutes after the restart to make it 2-2.
Substitute Milner fired Town ahead for a second time after 83 minutes, before Hartley added a fourth a minute from time to complete an FA Cup upset for his team.
Town’s reward is a home tie with Bostik League South Phoenix Sports in the preliminary round on Saturday, August 19.
Steyning should be full of confidence as they get their Southern Combination League Division 1 campaign up and running at home against Ringmer on Saturday.
STEYNING TOWN: Rose; Court, Al-Samaraie, Gainsford, Levoi, Thompson, Romain, Ozga, Townley, Bacon, Clark. Subs: Hartley (Ozga), Milner (Townley), Faber (Romain).
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