Aston motors Roffey FC to cup glory

Roffey Football Club manager Julian Miller hailed a fantastic season after a solitary Damon Aston strike secured them the Division 3 Cup on Tuesday evening.
Division 3 Cup winners Roffey FC. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140705-095204002Division 3 Cup winners Roffey FC. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140705-095204002
Division 3 Cup winners Roffey FC. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140705-095204002

Aston’s 16th-minute half-volley proved the match winner as they overcame Division 3 runners-up Ferring at East Preston to cap the season with some silverware.

Roffey controlled much of the first-half with Aston and Ben Bissett linking well and looking dangerous on the break, while their defence and midfield stifled Ferring’s normal attacking football.

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In the second half, Ferring caused the majority of the problems – although Aston and Steve Halliday both rattled the woodwork for Roffey – before a frantic final ten minutes.

Ferring threw everything forward in the closing stages, including keeper Charlie Gammons for a torrent of corners and free kicks, but wave after wave of attacks were repelled.

The best chance at a leveller produced a fine injury-time save from Aaron Jeal who got a hand to, and pushed over, a curling effort from Joey Matthews that was destined for the top corner.

Boss Miller said: “It was a fantastic performance and we looked dangerous on the break. Our back line were superb and I have so much confidence in them, that was the difference really.

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“We hit the woodwork twice as well, but they really threw everything at us in the last ten minutes.

“It’s what Damon is about - sparking into life going forwards and he got his rewards by scoring the winning goal.

“We have worked really hard all year and I am really proud of the team, it is just a shame only 14 of them could get on the pitch tonight.

“It’s been a fantastic season and the highest we have finished since we have been in the County League.

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“There is a lot of hard work still to do at the club, but I am enjoying it and we are moving forwards.”

Roffey took the lead on 16 minutes as a Grant Miller ball over the top was latched onto by Aston, and he beat Gammons to the ball, for his half-volley to crash in via the inside of the post.

Ferring were restricted to a long-range Barney Boutwood effort which sailed over, while Roffey continued to look sharp going forwards with the final pass just not falling to feet.

In the second half, Ferring came out the blocks quickest but failed to really create any clear-cut chances.

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On 55 minutes, Aston raced away down the left and twisted and turned before crossing for Halliday at the far post, but his free header was kept out by a spectacular one-handed diving save from Gammons.

Liam Da Costa and substitute Joey Matthews were causing Roffey all sorts of problems down the left and a quick free kick was well cleared by Ross Hirschfield, while a Da Costa shot was comfortably saved by Jeal.

On 64 minutes, a superb Matthews cross was headed clear to Josie Stakim and he forced a fine diving save from Jeal.

At the other end a fierce Halliday effort smashed against the inside of the post and out after the ball fell to him on the edge of the area.

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In a frantic finale, Ferring threw everything they had at their opponents, but the leaders held on to lift the trophy, while Aston almost hit a second as he fired against the post from a breakaway.

ROFFEY: Jeal; Hancock, D.Hirschfield, Hannigan, Simester; R.Hirschfield, Halliday, Miller, Spence; Bissett, Aston. Subs: Russell (Hancock 45), Pearson (Hannigan 65), Hawkes (Bissett 83), Lepetite, Robinson.

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