ARUNDEL Football Club suffered a heartbreaking spot-kick defeat in the RUR Charity Cup on Tuesday night in a match marred by a serious ankle injury to Mussels captain Ryan MacMillan.

Arundel’s penalty heartbreak in cup

A Dan Jordan hat-trick normally would have stolen the show for the home side, his third coming in the last minute of extra time to level the scores at 3-3 and send the game to penalties, but a 45-minute delay while defender MacMillan was taken to hospital late in the game will be what sticks in the memory.

After what seemed like a screening of Ben Hur, Shoreham made it through to the second round with a 3-2 win on penalties on a blustery, and at times, exceptionally wet evening.

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Mussels went ahead after 17 minutes as Jordan headed home after what could only be described as a scrappy start to proceedings. Rory Biggs thought he had levelled the scores seven minutes later but he had made his run too early and was adjudged, correctly, to have been offside.

Rory Biggs did score the equaliser, however, on 31 minutes, after Shoreham keeper James Shaw decided to join the local orientating club in an effort to close down a far from dangerous situation, allowing young left winger Ryan Warr to cross for Biggs to slot into an empty net.

Shoreham started the second period far the brighter and went a goal ahead through Jordan once more, who was given space to head powerfully past James Fernandes.

Arundel equalised once again in the 74th minute as Warr rattled Shaw’s crossbar before collecting the rebound and crossing for Josh Biggs to tap home from close range.

It might have been all over in the 85th minute when Rory Biggs broke, but a superb last-ditch tackle from Mussels’ MacMillan stopped him in his tracks, unfortunately at the expense of his ankle, for which an ambulance was called, and he was finally released from hospital at 2.30am with suspected ligament damage.

When play got back underway the inevitable extra-time occurred, with Arundel taking the lead when Josh Biggs netted after a well-worked free kick past a static back line in the 103rd minute.

With time and hope ebbing away from the hosts, it was left to Jordan who rose highest for a corner in stoppage time at the end of the game to complete his hat-trick and take the tie to penalties.

With the penalties at 3-2 in the home side’s favour, with only one remaining, Shaw made amends for his earlier error to save Rory Biggs’ tame penalty and send the home side through.

Arundel boss Brett Torode lamented: “I’m absolutely gutted. That’s the third match running that we’ve been poor at the beginning of the second half and paid the price. The signs are there that we will be a good side, and I was particularly pleased with Ryan Warr’s performance, but it’s very frustrating.”

ARUNDEL: Fernandes; Da Costa, Walker, Windsor, Hunter; Dudas, A.Biggs, Campbell, Warr; J.Biggs, R.Biggs. Subs: Grove (A.Biggs 68), Peake, Gettings (Warr 112), Sutcliffe (J.Biggs 119).